The Geminids appear to emanate from the constellation Gemini (The Twins). They are one of the most dependably impressive annual meteor showers. While most meteor showers are the result of passing through the debris fields of comets, the Geminids are the result of the Earth plowing through debris shed by a 3-mile-wide asteroid called 3200 Phaethon. The tiny particles burn up in Earth's atmosphere, leaving bright streaks in the sky. 2012 was predicted to be a great year because the new moon contributed no light in the night sky.
My friend Vince and I departed for a farm field with a pond south of New Lenox, IL to watch the show. The owner graciously allowed us access. After arriving at 11PM, we set up our cameras and enjoyed the show. There were a number of spectacular trails despite the light pollution from nearby Chicago. At times, we were seeing a streak every minute. We packed up at 2 AM and headed back home tired but elated at finally seeing "the show."
The photo is a composite of eight shots where the Geminids were bright enough to overcome the ambient light. The glow on the horizon is from far off Kankakee. I used a Canon 5D III with the 16-35 zoom at 16mm, iso 2500, f 3.5 and 30 seconds.
Now that we're bit by the meteor bug, we can't wait to drive to a better dark sky location for next year's show!