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Annual Meteor Showers

Meteor Showers 2001 - 2002
Shower Name
Approx Date
Hourly Rate +/- # of Days
Quadrantids Jan 03 40
1
Lyrids Apr 21 15 2
Eta Aquariads May 04
20
3
Delta Aquariads July 28
20
7
Persieds Aug 13
50
5
Orionids Oct 21
25
2
South Taurids Nov 03
15
Weeks
Leonids Nov 17 15 Broad range
Geminids Dec 13
50
3
Ursids Dec 22 15 2

Indicates and excellent opportunity to see the meteor shower.


What is a METEOR?

As a comet comes close to the Sun, the surface material is melted down or vaporizes and is swept away by the solar winds.  These particles of dust and ice are destined to float through space forever... Unless the path of the comet and the orbit of the Earth intersect.  In that case, these particles produce an awesome and beautiful spectacle known as a meteor shower.  As the Earth passes through the debris left behind by the comet, these particles enter our upper atmosphere.  Moving at up to 2650 miles per hour, these particles super-heat and produce a meteor.

Before I explain further, let me defined some terms.  A meteroid is a particle of debris from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a small car that is floating in space.  A meteor is the light that is produced as a meteroid passes through our atmosphere.  Now, if that meteoroid survives the trip through our atmosphere and hits the ground, then it becomes a meteorite. Many people have thought that they discovered a meteorite, but after analysis they found it was just a rock... This is known as a meteor-wrong.

The best time to observe a meteor shower is between the midnight and sunrise. This is when the dark side of the Earth is facing directly into the stream of debris. You will see four (4) times the number of meteors after midnight than before.