2012 Geminid meteors from Goochland County, Virginia

December 14, 2012

Photos Copyright 2012 William T. Hark

Click on the small image for a larger version.

With a clear moonless night, there was the potential for a nice viewing of the Geminid meteor shower. This shower can have especially bright and slow moving meteors. The Geminid meteor shower peaked December 14th as the Earth passed through a stream of debris from comet Phaethon. I drove west from Richmond around midnight December 14. Finding a close area with dark skies is becoming more difficult due to increased development. I parked about 20 miles west of Richmond in Gochland County along a side road by 250. Dispite some distant lights, I could see the Milky Way. I could see meteors every 1 to 2 minutes along with a few much brighter fireballs. As usual, I would usually see the best meteors when the camera was turned off or pointed in a different direction. I did manage to capture one nice fireball with the camera pointed to the south at 12:48 AM. Equipment and settings: Nikon D600, 28-300 mm at 28 mm, 25 sec, f4, ISO2000. There are two versions above, one darkened somewhat to better approximate the viewing conditions and the other as it was captured by the camera. After a couple hours, I decided it was too cold and ended the photo session.

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Updated 12/15/2012