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Book of Star Gazing Cover


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Meteor Showers

It used to be believed that meteors were actually stars that were falling from the sky. Hence the name falling star. We now know that this isn't true. Falling stars, (meteors) are actually small particles of debris that pass through the earth's atmosphere and burn up on the way.

In space there are clusters of debris and dust that circle around the Sun much like the Earth does. At approximately the same time each year the Earth passes through these clusters. Hence there is an unusually large concentration of meteors appearing in very particular areas of the sky at the same time every year. We call these meteor showers.


Below is a list of some of the more active metoer showers with their approximate date of occurrence and the hourly rate at which you might expect to see them occuring. You will need a good star chart to help you find the appropriate constellations or you can just sit back and watch the whole sky for signs of activity.

Name Duration Peak Hourly rate Strength
Quadrantids Jan 1 - Jan 5 Jan 3 120 Strong
Delta Cancrids Jan 1 - Jan 31 Jan 17 4 Medium
Alpha Centaurids Jan 28 - Feb 21 Feb 7 6 Medium
February Leonids Feb 1 - Feb 28 several 5 Medium
Delta Leonids Feb 15 - Mar 10 Feb 24 2 Medium
Gamma Normids Feb 25 - Mar 22 Mar 13 8 Medium
Virginids Mar 1 - Apr 15 several 5 Medium
Librids Apr 15 - Apr 30 several 5 Medium
Lyrids Apr 15 - Apr 28 Apr 22 15 Strong
Eta Aquarids Apr 19 - May 28 May 6 60 Strong
Alpha Scorpiids May 1 - May 31 May 16 5 Medium
Arietids May 22 - Jul 2 Jun 7 54 Strong
Sagittarids Jun 1 - Jul 15 Jun 19 5 Medium
July Pegasids Jul 7 - Jul 13 Jul 10 3 Medium
Piscis Austrinids Jul 15 - Aug 10 Jul 28 5 Medium
South Delta Aquarids Jul 12 - Aug 19 Jul 28 20 Strong
Alpha Capricornids Jul 3 - Aug 15 Jul 30 4 Medium
South Iota Aquarids Jul 25 - Aug 15 Aug 4 2 Medium
North Delta Aquarids Jul 15 - Aug 25 Aug 8 4 Medium
Perseids Jul 17 - Aug 24 Aug 12 90 Strong
Kappa Cygnids Aug 3 - Aug 25 Aug 17 3 Medium
North Iota Aquarids Aug 11 - Aug 31 Aug 20 3 Medium
Alpha Aurigids Aug 25 - Sep 8 Sep 1 7 Medium
September Perseids Sep 5 - Oct 10 Sep 8 6 Medium
Piscids Sep 1 - Sep 30 Sep 20 3 Medium
October Arietids Oct 1 - Oct 31 Oct 8 5 Medium
Delta Aurigids Sep 22 - Oct 23 Oct 10 6 Medium
Epsilon Geminids Oct 14 - Oct 27 Oct 18 2 Medium
Orionids Oct 2 - Nov 7 Oct 21 20 Strong
Southern Taurids Nov 1 - Nov 25 Nov 5 5 Medium
Northern Taurids Nov 1 - Nov 25 Nov 12 5 Medium
Chi Orionids Nov 25 - Dec 31 Dec 2 3 Medium
Monocerotids Nov 27 - Dec 17 Dec 9 3 Medium
Sigma Hydrids Dec 3 - Dec 15 Dec 12 2 Medium
Puppid-velids Dec 2 - Dec 16 Dec 12 4 Medium
Geminids Dec 7 - Dec 17 Dec 14 120 Strong
Coma Berenicids Dec 12 - Jan 23 Dec 20 5 Medium
Ursids Dec 17 - Dec 26 Dec 22 10 Strong


NextContinue on to objects of Special Interest in the Night Sky

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Looking for some Great Astronomy stuff like telescopes, lenses and science projects? Edmund Scientifics has it all.