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Geminid meteor shower gets rave reviews as best of 2010

Skywatchers around the globe sang praises to the Geminid meteor shower, the annual mid-December rain of meteors passing through the earth's atmosphere.

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Photo of a Geminid meteor falling through the sky over Mont Aigoual in the south of France on Dec. 14.

Guillaume Cannat/Space.com

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The year's best meteor shower peaked Monday night (Dec. 13), giving skywatchers around the world an incredible show.

"Best meteor shower I have ever seen," James Champagne, viewing from Madera Canyon, Ariz., wrote on the site SpaceWeather.com, where he posted several pictures of the Geminid meteor shower.

"The show was impressive allrite," he wrote to SPACE.com. "Seeing 5-7 meteors per minute was normal. Often times 2 meteors at a time."

IN PICTURES: Meteor showers

The Geminid meteor shower is an annual mid-December rain of meteors that occurs when Earth passes through a stream of space rock debris. As these small rocks fly through the atmosphere, they burn up, creating shooting stars. Geminid meteors should still be visible for a few days, though their peak has passed.

"I saw 50 Geminids in two hours in spite of a very luminous moon, so it was a good show this year but not an extraordinary one," Guillaume Cannat, who watched from Mont Aigoual in the south of France, wrote in an e-mail to SPACE.com. Cannat was able to capture a gorgeous photo of a meteor streaking across the star-speckled indigo sky.

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