The 2020 Geminid meteor shower peaked around the night of December 13-14, and many reported a wonderful display! For example, veteran meteor-watcher Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona – who watched on December 13 in the late evening – wrote:
I had a great night! There were multiple fireballs and lots of Sirius-bright meteors [Editor’s note: Sirius is the brightest star in the sky]. I saw 77 total between 1:30 a.m. and 4 a.m.
Eddie Irizarry in Puerto Rico captured a short video that he shared with us. He commented:
The meteor shower was magnificent!
Not everyone saw a good show, though. Bob Holderness-Roddam from Australia did his best, but was less than impressed by the shower near him. He wrote:
I crawled out of bed at 1 a.m. Australian Eastern Daylight Saving Time on Monday morning, got into my car and drove to a relatively dark area away from the city – just a couple farmhouse lights in the distance. Excellent view of Castor and Pollux, as well as Orion and other constellations. But, bugger all meteors. Five in total from 1:15 a.m. to 3:20 a.m. Three pretty faint, the other two not particularly bright. Did I do something wrong, or was the predicted display a ‘no show’?
You did exactly right, Bob. It’s always the case that – the farther you are from city lights – the more meteors you’ll see. But this is nature; it always has a unpredictable component. The best you can do for any meteor shower is get away from city lights, look up, and hope for the best! Although the peak of the Geminids has passed, this meteor shower is expected to remain active until around December 22 this year, according to the American Meteor Society. Try again?
Check out the wonderful photos below, from this year’s Geminid meteor shower. Thanks to all who submitted to EarthSky Community Photos!
Bottom line: Some EarthSky community members saw a great 2020 Geminid meteor shower and shared their images with us.
Kelly Kizer Whitt has been a science writer specializing in astronomy for more than two decades. She began her career at Astronomy Magazine, and she has made regular contributions to AstronomyToday and the Sierra Club, among other outlets. Her children’s picture book, Solar System Forecast, was published in 2012. She has also written a young adult dystopian novel titled A Different Sky. When she is not reading or writing about astronomy and staring up at the stars, she enjoys traveling to the national parks, creating crossword puzzles, running, tennis, and paddleboarding. Kelly lives with her family in Wisconsin.