A photographer captured this gorgeous image of the Gemenids last night when they were at its peak, but don’t worry there’s still to capture the shooting stars.
Raghuvamsh Chavali traveled to Orangeville, Canada to record the dazzling Geminid meteors. He took almost 600 photos to create the composite image.
“Even though I didn’t catch all of the meteors on camera, the night was really amazing,” Chavali tells PetaPixel.
“The Geminids produced an amazing visual retreat as they danced across the sky. Every picture highlighted the victories and setbacks of a night spent chasing stars in addition to the beauty of the meteors.”
Chavali used a Sony a7 III with a Tamron 24mm f/2.8 with his camera set to four-second exposures at ISO 4,000 and an aperture between f/2.8 and f.4.5
“I used a tripod to make sure every photo was clear, which allowed me to combine the meteors almost 600 separate shots to produce a composite image,” says Chavali. “The end result was an enthralling work of art with the bright Geminids set against a charming rustic barn.”
Capturing meteors with a camera is no easy feat, but good preparation will go a long way toward getting great photos. Photographers must find a clear, dark sky, and ensure that their camera is stable. Since meteors are unpredictable, long exposures are often the best way to capture the streaks across the sky. Often, a wide-angle lens is a good choice as it offers the most expansive view of the sky.
Astronomers began recording the Geminids in the mid-1800s, but their source was unknown at the time. It was later discovered that they are the result of debris left behind by the 3200 Phaethon asteroid, which is unlike most meteor showers that originate from comets.
The Geminids run until December 26 but tonight is the last chance for a strong showing for a while. According to Space, 2024 has as high chance to be a poor year because a full Moon will likely drown out the meteors with its brightness. However, 2025 should be a much stronger show because the Geminids coincided with a waning crescent Moon.
Earlier this month, PetaPixel published a guide to the night sky in December.
Image credits: Photographs by Raghuvamsh Chavali