An Indiana officer got a stunning view of the Geminid meteor shower — known as one of the best meteor shows of the year — from his patrol car late Wednesday.
Cpl. Chris Cramer from the Howard County Sheriff’s Department was driving on a roadway just before midnight when a flash of bright light caught his eye.
"[He] caught what appears to be a meteor entering our atmosphere on his dash camera near 600 E. on SR22," the sheriff's department posted on Facebook Thursday night, along with a 20-second clip.
The video, which shows a huge green fireball streak across the sky, has been viewed more than 12,000 times since it was posted. Residents were quick to chime in — many confirming they, too, spotted meteors this week.
"Meteor shower last night and tonight. Granted its cloudy tonight. I saw about 30 or more. Pretty cool," one man commented on the Howard County Sheriff’s Department's post.
"That’s the same one ... I saw while in Galveston on that call last night! Lol you guys thought we were crazy!" one Facebook user replied to his friend.
"It's cool being in the right place at the right time. Dash cams have lots of uses. Thanks for posting," another added.
The winter meteor shower made its annual appearance this week. The meteor shower, which contains debris from 3200 Phaethon, peaked Thursday night into Friday morning and was expected to shoot off anywhere between 60 to 120 meteors per hour. The space rocks zoomed by, hitting Earth at around 22 miles per second, according to the American Meteor Society (AMS).
"The Geminids are often bright and intensely colored," the AMS states on its website. "Due to their medium-slow velocity, persistent trains are not usually seen."
The shower was visible in both the Northern and Southern atmospheres after midnight Thursday, though pollution, weather and the Moon may have prevented some stargazers from catching the show.
“The meteors will appear in all parts of the sky,” Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd previously explained to EarthSky. “It’s even possible to have your back to the constellation Gemini and see a Geminid meteor fly by. However, if you trace the path of a Geminid meteor backwards, it appears to originate from within the constellation Gemini.”