Composite Image Credit & Copyright: Jeff Dai (TWAN) Explanation: From dark skies
above Heilongjiang province in northeastern China, meteors rain down on a wintry landscape in this beautiful composited night scene. The 48 meteors are part of last week’s annual Geminid meteor shower. Despite
temperatures of -28 degrees C, all were recorded in camera exposures made during the peak hour of the celestial spectacle. They stream away from the shower’s radiant high above the horizon near the two bright stars of the zodiacal constellation of the Twins. A very active shower
, this year the December 13-14 peak of the Geminids arrived just before the December 16 closest approach
of asteroid 3200 Phaethon to planet Earth. Mysterious 3200 Phaethon
is the Geminid shower’s likely parent body.