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Posted at 06:15 AM ET, 12/14/2012

Geminid meteor shower amazes night sky watchers


Geminid meteor shower, December 13 from Hume, Va. ( Edward Payne Photography )

An onslaught of Geminid meteors dashed through the cloudless skies Thursday night and early Friday morning, putting on a dazzling spectacle. Some witnesses called it the best meteor shower they had ever seen.

The clear skies and lack of moonlight (due to the new moon phase) created perfect viewing conditions. Even urban residents in the thick of light pollution were able to sneak a peek at some of the more vibrant shooting stars. Sky watchers in rural areas were treated to 20 to 30 meteors per hour, at least. There were a couple fireballs reported.

Related: Geminid meteor shower reigns

See below for more photos and witness reports/reactions...

On social media feeds, the most common descriptor for the meteor shower was “amazing.”


Geminid meteor shower from Arlington, Va., December 13 ( Hieu Nguyen )

Here are just a few of the many reports we received:

@thatwilcoxguy: Saw fireball in Ashburn. Went halfway across sky before breaking into tiny, fiery chunks. Looked like fireworks.

@museumbug: DC NW surrounded by city-just saw one with such a long tail thought it must be a firework. Nope. Stunning! #shootingstars

@MD_DC: Just saw a huge one streak over downtown Bethesda heading north. Amazingness!

@pency87: Hit the roof at our place just now at 4th and Mass NW and was astounded by the show. Amazing!

Rob Wanenchak: Saw 10 from Beltsville in a 30 minute span...

Daniel Koklauner: In Clifton VA, saw 9 in 20 minutes.. most of them were nice and bright!

Alyson Browett: saw about 30-40 in an hour in Linden, Va. best shower i’ve ever witnessed.

Dave Ullrich: Galesville, MD 20765. Rural area next to the Bay, very dark. Absolutely incredible. In the 30 minutes I was out there, saw 17-18 bright ones, and dozens of very faint ones.

Lauren Sue Butler Masoero: Went outside for an hour and a half in my backyard in Dunkirk and witnessed an impressive show in the sky. Never seen so many at once, so bright and some even appeared to have colors. Beautiful. I was also witnessing multiples at a time or in a row. Best meteor shower I’ve ever seen.

For more eyewitness reports, see our Facebook page.

Additional photos


( @punga on Twitter - Geminid meteor shower, December 13, 2012.)


Geminid meteor shower at 11pm on Decembe 13 in Arlington, Va. ( Kevin Wolf via Flickr )


Geminid meteor as seen from Centreville, Va. December 13. ( @ErnieBarreto on Twitter )


Geminid meteor as seen from Centreville, Va. December 13. ( @ErnieBarreto on Twitter )

Did you witness the meteor shower? Desribe what you saw below...

By  |  06:15 AM ET, 12/14/2012

Categories:  Latest, Astronomy

 
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