See the Geminid meteor shower 2023 light up the sky in these amazing photos

streaks of light crisscross among the stars in the night sky
The Geminid meteor showers as seen from Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, on Dec. 14, 2023. (Image credit: Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Geminid meteor shower stunned in its first of two peak nights in 2023.

Photos from around the world showed Geminid meteors streaking through the sky overnight on Wednesday (Dec. 13), and more "shooting stars" are expected on Thursday (Dec. 14). The new moon, only two days old, should allow for peaks of as much as 100 meteors per hour this year, according to SpaceWeather.com.

Webcasts are also available to check out the show if you can't get outside or you're clouded out. Both the the Slooh telescope network and the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome, Italy are expected to livestream the shower online, pending weather.

Related: Meteor showers 2023: When is the next one?

Meteors are little bits of space dust that harmlessly fly at high speed into Earth's atmosphere, creating streaks of light as they burn away. Meteor showers tend to be associated with a particular space body; in the case of the Geminids, the source is an asteroid or space rock known as 3200 Phaethon. Every December, Earth runs into the stream of debris the asteroid leaves behind, bringing a new wave of crumbs into our atmosphere that shine as shooting stars.

Photographers worldwide watched the celestial spectacle this year, including Thilina Kaluthotage who caught the shower from Ratnapura, Sri Lanka.

Meteors seen seen in the sky during the Geminid meteor showers in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, on Dec. 14, 2023. (Image credit: Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Geminids are among the only major shower not caused by debris from a comet.

Meteors seen seen in the sky during the Geminid meteor showers in Ratnapura, Sri Lanka, on Dec. 14, 2023. (Image credit: Thilina Kaluthotage/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The meteors were also seen above Yosemite National Park in California.

A view of the Geminid meteor shower and stargazing at the Tunnel View of Yosemite National Park in California, United States on Dec. 14, 2023.  (Image credit: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Photographer Fatih Aktas saw the shower over Lanoka Harbor in New Jersey.

Meteors streak across the night sky over Lanoka Harbor during Geminids meteor shower in New Jersey, United States on Dec. 14, 2023. (Image credit: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Geminids and in some cases, auroras shone in the night sky of users of X (formerly Twitter), who posted the results online.

The official X account of the Stongehenge monument in Salisbury, England posted an image of Geminids seen above the iconic prehistoric landmark.

See more

Amateur astronomer "Astro Mike" took to X to post a stunning timelapse image of dozens of Geminid meteors

See more

Readers also sent in their amazing meteor shots to Space.com.

"Unfortunately got too cold for me," photographer Matthew Borchert told Space.com of his photo taken near Marietta, Minnesota on Dec. 13 at about 10 p.m. "But I did get this single shot that I like," he added.

A Geminid meteor as seen from near Marietta, Minnesota on Dec. 13, 2023. (Image credit: Matthew Borchert)

"Went out for 7 hours last night and this morning," photographer Tyler Levitt told Space.com of his images, taken in the Joshua Tree forest roughly 45 minutes south of Las Vegas. 

Geminid meteors as seen from Joshua Tree, California on Dec. 13, 2023. (Image credit: Tyler Levitt)

"Saw hundreds of meteors, with several dozen bright enough to capture in these images," Levitt wrote. "Some images caught multiple meteors."

Geminid meteors as seen from Joshua Tree, California on Dec. 13, 2023. (Image credit: Tyler Levitt)

If you want to photograph the Geminids or any other meteor shower, be sure to check out our how to photograph meteors and meteor showers guide. And if you need imaging gear, consider our best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.

Editor's note: If you snap a great photo of the Geminid meteor shower that you'd like to share with Space.com and our news partners for a story or image gallery, send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com. 

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for Space.com for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: https://qoto.org/@howellspace