The annual Geminid meteor shower has caused quite the sensation this year. Hailed as the best meteor shower of the entire year, the 2018 Geminids produced up to 120 shooting stars per hour — a grand celestial spectacle that stargazers were encouraged not to miss.
In the hours before the Geminids’ peak, which this year fell on the night of December 13-14, NASA took to Twitter to remind sky watchers that the meteor shower is a “must-see.” Even Google dedicated an entire Doodle slideshow to the famous Geminids and their source of origin, a blue asteroid named after the ancient Greek god Apollo’s son, Phaethon, as recently reported by the Inquisitr.
“The Geminids are rich in beautiful green fireballs,” NASA wrote in a blog post a week ahead of the meteor shower peak.
And, sure enough, one of these dazzling bolides is now taking the Internet by storm, after being caught on camera by an officer of the Howard County Sheriff’s Department in Indiana, reports CNet.
The amazing footage was recorded on Wednesday night, some 24 hours before the peak of the Geminids, and shows a bright meteor appear out of nowhere and light up the night in a green blaze. The 20-second video was shot by Cpl. Chris Cramer, who captured the meteor’s sky dive on his dashcam while out on patrol.
— CNET (@CNET) December 15, 2018
The short clip shows the green fireball streaking across the sky and then suddenly disappearing from sight. The footage was shared on social media on the following day, amassing 29,000 views on the Howard County Sheriff’s Department’s Facebook page.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, the Geminids have been active since December 4 and will continue to shoot across the sky for another couple of days. Given that this meteor shower is relatively long-lasting, it’s not unusual for impressive meteor sightings to occur before or after the Geminids’ peak night.
According to CNet, the green fireball was spotted by multiple people over the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania area. On the same night that the police dashcam recorded the meteor, 12 other people saw the fireball light up the sky around 11:51 p.m. EST, as shown by these reports sent to the American Meteor Society.
This is not the first time that a blazing fireball makes a dazzling appearance on footage recorded by dashcam and security cameras. In mid-August, a fiery meteor was filmed by several surveillance and doorbell cameras as it tumbled through the sky over Alabama and Georgia, the Inquisitr reported at the time.
A month before that, a tiny asteroid dubbed 2018 LA hit Earth’s atmosphere at breakneck speeds of 10 miles per second, lighting up the African sky over Botswana. The asteroid-turned-meteor was caught on camera from a farm between Ottosdal and Hartebeesfontein in South Africa, per a previous report by the Inquisitr.