2006 Geminids Shower

The annual Geminid meteor shower occurs when debris from the asteroid 3200 Phaethon intercepts the Earth. This is a very rare type of shower in having an asteroidal, rather than cometary parent (although there is some speculation that Phaethon may actually be the rocky core of an evaporated comet).

This is a composite image of 92 meteors collected on the evenings of December 12/13 (48 events) and December 13/14 (44 events). Because the images were collected over many hours, the radiant of the shower is spread out and not apparent. The blue arc marks the path of the radiant from 8 PM to 6 AM local time. Long necklace-like streaks are stars or planets captured as they traveled across the sky over many hours. These form arcs centered on Polaris, which is located fairly low in the sky above the zero degree azimuth marker.