Astronomy and Space

Comets and Meteorites

When do meteor showers occur?

There are a number of groups of meteoroids orbiting the sun just as Earth is. When Earth’s orbit intercepts the path of one of these swarms of meteoroids, some of them enter Earth’s atmosphere. When friction with the air causes a meteoroid to burn up, the streak, or shooting star, that is produced is called a meteor. Large numbers of meteors can produce a spectacular shower of light in the night sky. Meteor showers are named for the constellation that occupies the area of the sky from which they originate. Listed below are ten meteor showers and the dates during the year during which they can be seen.

Name of Shower Dates
Quadrantids January 1–6
Lyrids April 19–24
Eta Aquarids May 1–8
Perseids July 25-August 18
Orionids October 16–26
Taurids October 20-November 20
Leonids November 13–17
Phoenicids December 4–5
Geminids December 7–15
Ursids December 17–24


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