meteor shower


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

meteor shower,

increase in the number of meteorsmeteor,
appearance of a small particle flying through space that interacts with the earth's upper atmosphere. While still outside the atmosphere, the particle is known as a meteoroid. Countless meteoroids of varying sizes are moving about the solar system at any time.
..... Click the link for more information.
 observed in a particular part of the sky. The trails of the meteors of a meteor shower all appear to be traceable back to a single point in the sky, known as the radiant point, or radiant. A shower is named for the constellation in which its radiant is located, e.g., the Lyrids appear to come from a point in Lyra, the Perseids from Perseus, and the Orionids from Orion.

Meteor showers usually occur annually and with varying intensity. While the average counting rate of meteors for the entire sky is between 5 and 10 per hr, an observer may see twice this number in one part of the sky during a shower, depending on atmospheric conditions and the degree of darkness, and in the case of the Perseids, possibly more than 100 in an hour. The Leonids produce spectacular displays roughly every 33 years, as they did during the meteor storm of 1966 (with a peak of a thousand a minute) and the intense shower of 2001 (with a peak of several thousand an hour). The Taurids, though not intense in number of meteors, is noted for the spectacular fireballs it displays.

Most meteor showers are closely associated with cometscomet
[Gr.,=longhaired], a small celestial body consisting mostly of dust and gases that moves in an elongated elliptical or nearly parabolic orbit around the sun or another star. Comets visible from the earth can be seen for periods ranging from a few days to several months.
..... Click the link for more information.
. When a comet approaches the sun, a swarm of particles is shed along its orbit. If this orbit intersects that of the earth, a meteor shower will be observed. The shower will be particularly intense in those years when the original comet would have been observed. The Geminids are an exception; they are associated with the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The Andromedids are associated with Biela's comet, the Eta Aquarids and Orionids with Halley's comet, the Leonids with Comet Tempel-Tuttle, the Lyrids with Comet Thatcher, the Perseids with Comet Swift-Tuttle, and the Taurids with Comet Encke. Some of the better-known meteor showers and their approximate peak dates are: Lyrids, Apr. 21; Perseids, Aug. 12; Orionids, Oct. 20; Taurids, Nov. 4; Leonids, Nov. 16; Geminids, Dec. 13.

meteor shower

The increase in observed rate of appearance of meteorsshower meteors – when the Earth passes through a meteoroid stream; a particular shower occurs at the same time each year. The increase in rate differs from stream to stream: it is a function of mass of the originating comet, age of stream, position of intersection point with respect to stream axis, and orbital elements (which can vary slowly with time). With many showers the rate varies from year to year because the meteoroids are not evenly distributed around the stream. The ratio between shower rate and sporadic-meteor rate is a function of the mass of the meteoroids being observed. This ratio can be as high as 10 for visual meteors, is about 1–2 for radio meteors, and is negligible for satellite-observed meteors. Shower meteors appear to emanate from a radiant, the shower being named after the constellation that contains the radiant. See Table 4, backmatter.

Meteor Shower

 

a meteor stream of brief duration with a very large number of meteors, as many as 1,000 in 1 min. The following meteor showers have been observed in the last 200 years: the Andromedids (1872 and 1885), the Draconids (1933 and 1946), and the Leonids (1799, 1833, 1866, and 1966).

meteor shower

[′mēd·ē·ər ‚shau̇·ər]
(astronomy)
A number of meteors with approximately parallel trajectories.
References in periodicals archive ?
It appears that the Maya were back-calculating mythological events using calculations of the sidereal year that appear to have accurately targeted the Eta Aquariid meteor shower," says Dr.
AUGUST 12 - PERSEID METEOR SHOWER This shower lasts for more than a month but is at its best on the night of August 12.
Astronomy experts have recommended that the best time to view a meteor shower is in the hours just before dawn.
10 (ONA) The world and the Sultanate skies will witnessed the Geminid meteor showers phenomenon , which will reach its peak on Wednesday and Thursday December 13th and 14th.
The meteor shower is most likely to be visible in the direction of the constellation of Draco, the Dragon, in the northern sky, just after nightfall.
FOR anyone who's ever wanted to wish upon a shooting star there's no better time - October and November sees a series of successive meteor showers taking place.
uk was among many stargazers to monitor the meteor shower.
Apart from the only partial lunar eclipse in 2017 visible from Cyprus on Monday two more celestial phenomena are expected in August, a Perseids meteor shower and a solar eclipse, the Kition Planetarium and Observatory has announced.
The annual Quadrantids meteor shower, active in the first week of January or from January 1 to 7, may even be more visible this year given only a dim light from the waning moon.
November 11 - Taurid Meteor Shower Like last month's Orionid meteor shower, you'll be able to catch the peak of the Taurid Meteor Shower this Friday.
THIS weekend you have the chance to see one of nature's own firework displays - the Orionid meteor shower.
THIS week sees the return of the annual Draconid meteor shower, one of the most unpredictable meteor displays seen in the Northern Hemisphere.