Annual Geminid Meteor Shower Lights Up the Night Sky

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Ethan Miller / Getty Images

VALLEY OF FIRE STATE PARK, NV - DECEMBER 14: A Geminid meteor streaks between peaks of the Seven Sisters rock formation early December 14, 2010 in the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada.

Stargazers got their yearly December treat Tuesday night with the Geminid meteor shower providing an amazing light show, despite the near full moon reducing its impact, the Washington Post reports.

The shower, named after the constellation Gemini from which it seems to radiate, was an eye-catching display of up to 120 meteors shooting through the night sky. It occurs each December, typically producing more than 100 meteors an hour during its peak.

(PHOTOS: It Fell From the Sky)

Professional and amateur astronomers alike were out in force to catch a glimpse of the shooting stars. One such enthusiast in California had a lucky escape after he drove his Mustang off a mountain road while in search of the perfect spot from which to view the spectacle. He walked away from the wreck with only minor injuries, according to reports. Meanwhile, others remained on firm enough footing to capture footage of the space show.


Experts believe Geminid results from debris falling from a rock comet called 3200 Phaethon. But according to the Christian Science Monitor, researchers are puzzled by the event since the shower doesn’t appear to shed enough rock and dust to account for the intensity.

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