National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Geminid Meteor Shower


This is a time lapse movie shot at NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory on the night of the peak of the Geminid meteor shower, December 14, 2014. It was taken lying on the ground looking at the sky using a circular fisheye lens. The 188-cm Telescope dome is visible to the north, up in this image. The 91-cm Telescope dome can be seen to the south-west, lower right in this image. There were some cloudy times, but many meteors were captured. In particular, the fireball which appears in the lower right around 1:47 am shines very brightly and shows through the thin clouds. Around 0:00 (midnight) a bright light appears in the lower left (south-east). This is the waning half-moon (22nd day in the lunar cycle). As time passes, it moves into the southern sky.

Note: This movie has been processed to preserve the meteor trails. The light trails cutting large swaths across the image are airplanes. In the first half, many airplanes fly across.

Text by: Hiroyuki Toda (Okayama Astrophysical Observatory)
Translation by: Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)