Draconids


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Related to Draconids: Giacobinids

meteor shower

meteor shower, increase in the number of meteors 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 comets. 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.

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Draconids

(drak -ŏ-nidz) See Giacobinids.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

Draconids

[drə′kän·ədz]
(astronomy)
Several meteor showers whose radiants lie in the constellation Draco.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Draconid meteor shower is caused by the Earth's atmosphere coming into contact with the stream of debris left by the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.
The Draconids offer a slightly different opportunity than most meteor showers because they're best visible after sunset rather than in the early morning like most shower are.
But, the Draconid is as unpredictable as it is remarkable, and in 2011 lucky European observers saw a massive 600 meteors an hour.
The Draconids appear exceptionally slow-moving as meteors go--partly because they are catching up to Earth from behind, and also because their short-period orbit means they don't fall sunward from very far out.
Taking advantage of rather better conditions, Richard Fleet, from near Pewsey in Wiltshire, saw 22 Draconids in a 43-minute watch beginning shortly after 20:00 UT; most were 2nd or 3rd magnitude and his best spell was three Draconids in a minute at 20:11.
For people who miss the Draconids, though, Meteor Shower Guide and Meteor Shower Calendar offer an alternative - the Northern Taurids shower, which starts on October 20 and peaks on November 12.
Washington, June 2 (ANI): Come October 8 and sky gazers will be treated with the biggest meteor shower of a lifetime - the Draconid shower is expected to produce 1,000 meteors per hour this year.
The Giacobinid (or October Draconid) meteor showers were among the most spectacular of the last century.
Cooke added: "Even if the Draconids were a full-scale meteor storm I would be confident that the space station (officials) would take the right steps to mitigate the risk." (ANI)
Unknown until recently were the slow-moving Gamma Draconids (GDR) coming out of the north.