Tonight is one of the best times to view the Geminid Meteor Shower.The source of the shower is asteroid 3200 Phaethon. There's a cloud of dust trailing the asteroid and Earth plows through it every year in mid-December. Bits of dust traveling 80,000 mph hit our atmosphere and turn into glowing meteors.
You can try to catch sight of these special stars at a portable telescope open for free public viewing of the sky at the Griffith Observatory's Satellite facility adjacent to the Los Angeles Zoo from 7 to 10 p.m. nightly except Mondays, December 24th and December 25th.
But beware that the annual Department of Water and Power Light Festival on Crystal Springs Drive may adversely affect access to the Satellite from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through December 30th.
If you plan to watch from your backyard telescope, here's some tips from Julie Sheer's "Outdoors Institute" column in the 12/7/2004 Los Angeles Times.
Check out these sites if you are astronomically inclined.