Prepare yourselves. Tomorrow night's Geminid meteor shower is shaping up to be one of the most impressive celestial light shows of 2012. Not only are the Geminids among the most reliable and prolific showers of all (NASA calls them "the 900-lb gorilla of meteor showers"), this year's display also happens to coincide with a new Moon. A new Moon mean less light pollution; less light pollution means more visible meteors (upwards of 120 per hour!); and more visible meteors means even more awe and wonderment to go around for those equipped to brave the chill of midnight in December.
So allow us to reiterate: prepare yourselves, people. Here's everything you need to know to spot as many shooting stars as possible.
Pictured above: A massive Geminid fireball from 2009's shower, one of the brightest ever recorded (the Geminids are notorious for being uncommonly bright meteors) via NASA
Avoid light like the plague
We're talking all kinds of light. City lights, street lights, house lights, flashlights, any lights. The Moon might not be an issue tomorrow, but there's still plenty of other ways to wash out the sky or effectively blind yourself. Seriously — don't blow it by checking your indiglo watch out of habit, and DON'T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE — it's a well-known fact that backlit cellphone screens were put on this Earth to ruin meteor showers.
If you're in the country, go find a big open field. If you're in the city, get out if you can. If you can't get out, try to find a high point. (These measures can make a HUGE difference. The pictures featured here compare the night sky as seen from two points in Utah located just 75 miles apart. The difference? The bottom photo was taken in a major metropolitan area, the top photo a rural town. See more info here.) The Clear Sky Chart website has a great list of optimal viewing locations organized by state, so go check it out.