Shooting stars stream in Geminid meteor shower

The Geminids meteor shower reached its annual peak Sunday morning and illuminated the night sky. (NBC/APTN)

DANGAST, Germany (NBC/APTN) — The Geminids meteor shower reached its annual peak Sunday morning and illuminated the night sky. The phenomenon could be seen near the town of Dangast, located on Germany’s North Sea Coast. The stream of shooting stars, meteors burning up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere, is thought to be intensifying every year.

According to a German astronomer, the slow-moving nature of the meteors makes them a popular astronomical event for observers around the world. In perfect conditions, around 120 shooting stars might be visible in an hour. The astronomer says the meteor shower is called the Geminids because they appear as though they’re shooting out of the constellation of Gemini.

The meteors are thought to be small pieces of asteroid “Phaeton,” a dust cloud revolving around the sun. “Phaeton” is thought to have lost all of its gas and to be slowly breaking apart into small particles.

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