Photos of 2020’s Leonid meteor shower

EarthSky Community members around the world are sharing their photos of this year’s Leonid meteor shower. Beautiful! Thanks to all who contributed.

Long bright colorful meteor streak against a bluish sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | James Reynolds in Leicester, North Carolina, captured this beautiful shot on November 17, 2020. He wrote: “I’ve spent many hours on photography expeditions trying to capture meteors before. But for this, my best image ever, I was outside with the camera for about 10 minutes tops … Because it was an unplanned session, I didn’t worry about taking a very low-probability approach to meteor photography and shot manually (with a remote) at random intervals. I also didn’t mind the risk of shooting short, 6-second exposures, figuring I’d take a high-risk, high-reward approach and get pinpoint stars that way. Lo and behold, about 10 exposures into it, I clicked the remote shutter button about one second before perhaps the biggest, brightest, most colorful meteor I’ve ever seen blew up in-frame. I took a few more exposures (that all had a red glow where the meteor had been), packed it up, went back inside, and slept like a baby!” Thank you, James!

The historic Leonid meteor shower peaked on the morning of November 17, 2020, but the shower is going on. You might catch a meteor from this shower on any night for the remainder of this month. Read more: All you need to know about the Leonids in 2020.

Our thanks to our friends around the world who caught meteors and shared their photos!

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Several thin white lines in a dim sky with scattered clouds, treetops on horizon.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Brian Mollenkopf in Rushville, Ohio, created this composite from images captured November 18, 2020. He wrote: “Here is an hour-long composite of the Leonids the other morning, with Venus just to the left of the the big tree on the edge of our back pasture here at Fair Fields Farm. There are 8 Leonids in the image, the 8th one is very faint, just above the double on the left.” Thank you, Brian!

Long, thin white line with a bright bulge at lower end in a starry sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Rich Richins in Las Cruces, New Mexico, captured this photo of a Leonid on November 17, 2020. He wrote: “A Leonid fireball in Leo. The meteor shower was mostly disappointing. I maybe saw one visually in an hour. But I set up the camera in the backyard and took 30-second exposures throughout the night. Found this nice fireball spread out amongst three successive exposures. I’ve faintly indicated a few nearby constellations.” Thanks, Rich!

Thin streak in sky over dunes with lighthouse sign.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jeff Berkes at East Point Lighthouse, New Jersey, captured this photo of a Leonid on November 17, 2020. He wrote: “I decided to come back here for a night and spend some time with this lighthouse under a star-filled sky. I set up my Nikon D850 in this spot, and another camera on the other side of the lighthouse to capture it from a different angle and different area of the sky. I set the camera to shoot for 3 hours. I have not sifted through all my shots during that night of November 16/17th, 2020, but this fireball sure did stand out.” Thanks, Jeff!

Leonid meteor over Orion
Nov. 18, 2020 12:12am
Cspe Santiago Philippines

Posted by JV Noriega on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A thin white streak with a bright bulge flashes across the starry sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Melissa Bryant in Bowman, Georgia, captured this photo of a Leonid on November 17, 2020. She wrote: “I took my camera out shooting for the Leonid meteors. I almost didn’t get this shot and am so happy I did. I was out at the right time and right position. After the 3rd shot I got this awesome meteor streaking across. It was awesome to see and get a photo of it.” Thanks, Melissa!

Splended thick red to orange streak across starry sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Greg Redfern in Virginia captured this colorful meteor at 3:30 a.m. on November 17, 2020. He said: “This close-up image shows actual colors in this Leonid. It left a visible train for several minutes.” Thanks, Greg!

Bottom line: Favorite photos from the EarthSky Community of the 2020 Leonid meteor shower.

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