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 ?
THIS week provides us with yet another chance to observe a cosmic firework display of shooting stars - the Leonid meteor shower.
ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Many flocked to the observatory in Ankara late Wednesday night to witness a dazzling display of the annual Perseid meteor shower, also known as falling stars, that reached its peak on the cloudless night.
NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will broadcast a live program about this year's Perseid meteor shower from 10 p.
The Met Office said: "The Geminids meteor shower is, for most, the highlight of the meteor shower calendar in 2014.
The meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through the path of asteroid 32000 Phaethon.
A meteor is seen during the Perseids meteor shower over the Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Every year the meteor shower peaks in mid-August, when starwatchers can spot as many as 60 meteors per hour.
ce, said the luminous "supermoon" risked drowning out the meteor shower.
He said the debris trail from comet 209P/Linear, discovered in 2004, is the originator of this meteor shower and the Earth will cross the comet path on the morning of the May 24.
10 ( ANI ): Geminid meteor shower will be at their best after dark on Friday, December 13 and before dawn on Saturday, December 14, according to reports.
Meteor showers are named for the constellation that they appear to emanate from.
Every August, the Earth passes through the dusty stream created by the fallout from the comet - the Perseids - which results in the meteor shower.