2023 Geminids Shower

The annual Geminid meteor shower occurs when debris from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon intercepts the Earth. This is an unusual type of shower in having an asteroidal, rather than cometary parent. However, evidence suggests that Phaethon is actually the rocky core of an evaporated comet. These meteors intercept the Earth at a fairly low speed of 35 km/s (79,000 mph). Because of this, Geminids tend to be slow and colorful- probably the prettiest of the major showers.

This is a composite image of 159 meteors collected between sunset on December 14 and sunrise on December 15. Since the images were collected over many hours, the radiant of the shower is not in a fixed location. The peak evening was a day earlier, but we had a winter snowstorm blow through then, so no meteors were captured. Conditions the night after the peak were good, however. Most of the meteors seen here are Geminid members, but also present are members of other active showers- sigma Hydrids, Puppid-Velids, and Monocerotids.