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Meteors

2001 - Meteoric Calendar

Jane Houston Jones


Thirty days hath September; all the rest I don't remember. But you'll be able to remember the meteor shower dates with this handy dandy meteor guide. You can all now plan your vacations.

January

January 4 - Quadrantids, active Jan 1-5. ZHR 120. These meteors are medium speed and bright, with some persistent trains. Moon Phase: 10 day old waxing moon

February

Weak showers with lowest sporadic rates of the year. Keep your eyes open for fireball-class sporadics, though.

March

Virginids, active with several peaks from early March to early April. This shower tracks through Libra, Virgo and Libra. Slow, bright and low summarizes this shower.

April

April 21 - Lyrids, active Apr 16 - 25. ZHR up to 90, but generally 20. Swift, sometimes spectacularly bright, and many leave persistent trains. Moon Phase: 28 day waning moon (new moon).

May

April 15 - July 15 - like the Virginids which this near-ecliptic shower follows, Sagittarids are spread out over a wide area. The ill-known radiants are active at various times in Scorpius, Ophiuchus and Sagittarius. Low rates are expected.

May 5 - Eta Aquarids, active Apr 19 - May 28. ZHR 60. One of two showers associated with Comet Halley, last at perihelion in 1986. Swift, bright and many leave persistent trains. Moon Phase: 13 day old waxing moon

June

June 27 - Bootids, active Jun 26 - Jul 2. ZHR variable up to 100. Moon phase: 8 day waxing moon.

July

July 9 - Pegasids Active Jul 7-13. ZHR 4. Swift, faint Pegasids are unmistakable. Moon Phase: 19 day waning moon.

July 27 - Delta Aquarids South, active Jul 12 - Aug 19. ZHR 20. Medium speed and faint, but bright ones do happen! Moon Phase: 8 day old waxing moon.

July 29 - alpha Capricornids, active Jul 3 - Aug 15. ZHR 4. Long trails and low elevation make this shower a photographers dream. Moon Phase: 10 day waxing moon.

August

August 12 - Perseids, active Jul 17 - Aug 24. ZHR 120-160. The big daddy of showers! These are fast and bright meteors and often leave persistent trains. Moon Phase: 23 day old waning moon. Lawn chairs at attention. Now observe!

September

Best for sporadics and mysterious minor showers.

October

October 8 - Draconids, active October 6 - 10. ZHR from 0 to storm! Showers occur when the parent comet, 21P Giacobini-Zinner reaches perihelion. That happened in 1998. Moon Phase: 21 day old waning moon.

October 21 - Orionids, active Oct 2 - Nov 7. ZHR 20

November

November 12 - Taurids, active Oct 1 - Nov 25. ZHR 5. Low, slow, bright and yellow. Good offset to Leonids.

November 17 - Leonids, active Nov 14 - 21. ZHR variable 10-storm. Swift and bright with 50 to 70% leaving persistent trains.

December

December 13 - Geminids, active December 7 - 17. ZHR 120. One of the best showers, with bright medium speed meteors. It is associated with an Apollo asteroid, Phaethon, so the particles are asteroid dust not comet dust.


Mail to: Jane Houston Jones
Copyright © 2000 San Jose Astronomical Association
Last updated: July 19, 2007

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