Geminid Meteor Shower captured by North Fork photog

The Geminid Meteor Shower, as seen from Mill Road in Mattituck. (Credit: Jon Shusteritsch)

The Geminid Meteor Shower, as seen from Mill Road in Mattituck. (Credit: Jon Schusteritsch)

Did you miss the recent Geminid Meteor Shower, the annual celestial show visible around the world every December?

Don’t worry, local shutterbug Jon Schusteritcsh caught it for you.

Schusteritsch spent an hour snapping more than 20 meteors in a Mattituck field before capturing the above shot. He grabbed this photo about 10 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14, right around the height of the annual meteor shower.

“I was off the road, about about 20 yards in the field, in the pitch black,” Schusteritsch said. “They were all over the sky. I was aiming the camera to get the tree in the shot, so that limited the amount of sky [in the photo.]”

An added bonus for Schusteritsch, who used a 10-second exposure to take the picture, was the very North Fork sight of a deer on the horizon. He didn’t even notice he had caught the animal until viewing the photo on a screen.

“The camera can see more in the darkness than your eyes can,” he said.

Schusteritsch, a Cutchogue father of two, said he previously tried to capture the Northern Lights, though the view from the North Fork wasn’t great.

The week of Dec. 8 was a good window for meteor shower gazing, though the annual display hit its peak on Dec. 13 and 14, according to NASA.

“Geminids are pieces of debris from an object called 3200 Phaethon,” NASA states on its website. “Long thought to be an asteroid, Phaethon is now classified as an extinct comet. Basically it is the rocky skeleton of a comet that lost its ice after too many close encounters with the sun. Earth runs into a stream of debris from 3200 Phaethon every year in mid-December, causing meteors to fly from the constellation Gemini.”

For prints of this photo and more of Schusteritsch’s work visit www.jschusteritsch.com.