HELENSBURGH ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY
- lux ex astra -
meteor showers - calendar

This page gives a list of the annual visual meteor showers we can expect to see. In addition to the cloud cover, the position and phase of the moon affect the viewing of meteor showers. The following table is produced here as a guide only as dates on which showers can be seen vary from year to year within a few days.

A Meteor Shower is any nuber of meteors emeanating from a common Radiant point in almost parallel trajectories. The Radiant is the point in the celestial sphere from which the meteors appear to originate. The Rate at which they are said to appear is based on number of meteors that could be observed in an hour if the limiting magnitude of the observer is 6.5(mag) and the radiant is in the observer's zenith. This is known as the Zenithal Hoursly Rate (ZHR). A Fireball is bright meteor with an apparent (visual) magnitude of at least -4 (mag).

More details of the showers can be found at the International Meteor Organization (IMO) as this page is not regularly updated. The 2013 calendar is available from them in this PDF and the 2014 in this PDF.

Meteor spotting is one of the less indulged in parts of astronomy but if you are interested and perhaps assist the IMO in their research then there are some software tools available to download from this page. While Visual spotting of meteors is the most rewarding in terms of numbers, to the science itself, video, radio and telescopic (binoculars are preferred to an actual telescope) methods provide better statistical data.

Note: Major Showers in Bold - else Minor or Moderate ones

SHOWER START DATE END DATE PEAK DATES RADIANT ZHR Comet Association
Quadrantids 28 Dec 12 Jan 2-4 Jan Bootes 110 96P Macholz 1
suspected
alpha Centaurids 28 Jan 21 Feb 7-9 Feb Centaurus 6
gamma Normids 25 Feb 22 Mar 13-15 Mar 6
Lyrids 16 Apr 25 Apr 21-22 Apr Lyra 18 C/1861 G1 Thatcher
pi Puppids 15 Apr 28 Apr 22-24 Apr Puppis varies
eta Aquariids 19 Apr 28 May 5-6 May Aquarius 45 1P/Halley
eta Lyrids 3 May 14 May 7-9 May Lyra 3
June Bootids 22 Jun 2 Jul 26-28 Jun Bootes varies
delta Aquariids< 12 Jul 23 Aug 28-30 Jul Aquarius 18 96P Macholz 1
suspected
alpha Capricornids 3 Jul 25 Aug - Capricorn 5 45P/Honda-Mrkos
-Pajdusakova
Perseids 17 Jul 24 Aug 12-13 Aug Perseus 85-90 109P/Swift-Tuttle
kappa Cygnids< 3 Aug 25 Aug 16-18 Aug Cygnus 3
(alpha)Aurigids 25 Aug 6 Sep 1-2 Sep Auriga 6
delta Aurigids 5 Oct 23 Oct 10-12 Oct Auriga 2
epsilon Geminids 10 Oct 27 Oct 18-19 Oct Gemini 3
Orionids 15 Oct 29 Oct 21-22 Oct Orion 25 1P/Halley
Northern Taurids 12 Oct 2 Dec 4-7 Nov Taurus 10 2P/Encke
Leonids 13 Nov 20 Nov 17-18 Nov Leo 10 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Geminids 7 Dec 15 Dec 13-14 Dec Gemini 75 Asteroid 3200 Phaethon
Ursids 17 Dec 25 Dec 22 Dec Ursa Minor 15 8P/Tuttle

Moon Calendar




Other sources of Sky news and related information:

The times of occultations according to location may be determined at the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) web site

Comet Rendezvous Calendar Skymaps.com printable maps
More meteor at IMO click here Heavens Above Whole Sky map
Jodrell Bank Night Sky Observing Podcasts What's Up in Universe Today
Watch Sky at Night (HomePage) Astronomy's answer to Google Earth
Free Sky Maps Microsoft World Wide Telescope


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Helensburgh Parish Church Hall, Helensburgh, G84 8UP

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