meteor shower

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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.
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 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.
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. 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]
A number of meteors with approximately parallel trajectories.
References in periodicals archive ?
Asher, a solar system modeler with an interest in the history of astronomical observations, considers this lacuna a bit strange, as records of meteor showers have been recovered from ancient Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and various European civilizations.
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The Geminid meteor shower will be especially spectacular during the night of December 13 and early morning of December 14, as the Dubai Astronomy Group has predicted at least 120 meteors to be visible in a single hour.
The Geminids are considered to be one of the more spectacular meteor shower during a year, with the possibility of sighting around 120 meteors per hour at its peak.
He added that the astronomical calculation shows that the meteor shower will reach its peak on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.
The Dubai Astronomy Group will be holding a stargazing camp at Al Qudra on Thursday December 14, where space enthusiasts can catch the Geminid meteor shower from 10pm to 4am.
He added that the astronomical calculation show that the meteor shower will reach its peak on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning (December 13th-14th 2017).
A METEOR shower is set to peak this weekend, giving stargazers a chance to see dozens of shooting stars streaking across the sky.
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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.