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Latest Meteor showers Stories

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2010-12-09 11:50:00

On the evening of Dec. 13 and the morning of Dec. 14, skywatchers across the northern hemisphere will be looking up as the Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak, in one of the best night sky events of the year. And unlike many astronomical phenomena, meteors are best seen without a telescope (and are perfectly safe to watch). At its peak and in a clear, dark sky up to 100 'shooting stars' or meteors may be visible each hour. Meteors are the result of small particles entering the Earth's...

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2010-12-12 16:00:00

The Geminid meteor shower, which peaks this year on Dec. 13th and 14th, is the most intense meteor shower of the year. It lasts for days, is rich in fireballs, and can be seen from almost any point on Earth. It's also NASA astronomer Bill Cooke's favorite meteor shower"”but not for any of the reasons listed above. "The Geminids are my favorite," he explains, "because they defy explanation." Most meteor showers come from comets, which spew ample meteoroids for a night of 'shooting...

f5eccec8172b6b8108d597f5ffb656a21
2010-11-17 08:00:00

There are several major meteor showers to enjoy every year at various times, with some more active than others. For example, April's Lyrids are expected to produce about 15 meteors an hour at their peak for observers viewing in good conditions. Now, if you put the same observer in the same good conditions during a higher-rate shower like August's Perseids or December's Geminids, that person could witness up to 80 meteors an hour during peak activity. The 2010 Leonid meteor shower peaks the...

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2010-10-27 08:12:39

This month, Comet Hartley 2 has put on a good show for backyard astronomers. The comet's vivid green atmosphere and auburn tail of dust look great through small telescopes, and NASA's Deep Impact/EPOXI probe is about to return even more dramatic pictures when it flies past the comet's nucleus on Nov. 4th. Another kind of show might be in the offing as well. Could this comet produce a meteor shower? "Probably not," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office, "but the other night...

994d368f6a230c7b13c4e3f60b32e1971
2010-10-21 07:27:09

The most famous of all comets, Comet Halley is noted for producing spectacular displays when it passes near Earth on its 76-year trip around the sun. However, you don't have to wait until 2061 to see a piece of the comet -- you can do it this very week! Halley's Comet leaves bits of itself behind -- in the form of small conglomerates of dust and ice called meteoroids -- as it moves in its orbit, which the Earth approaches in early May and mid-October. When it does, it collides with these bits...

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2010-10-11 13:49:43

Camelopardalis. It's a strange-sounding name for a constellation, coming from the Greco-Roman word for giraffe, or "camel leopard". The October Camelopardalids are a collection of faint stars that have no mythology associated with them -- in fact, they didn't begin to appear on star charts until the 17th century. Even experienced amateur astronomers are hard-pressed to find the constellation in the night sky. But in early October, it comes to prominence in the minds of meteor scientists as...

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2010-08-12 12:53:06

Perseid Meteor Shower: Afternoon Chat, Then Up All Night! Looking for a little excitement as the summer draws to a close? This year's Perseid meteor shower peaks on Aug. 12-13, and it promises to be one of the best displays of the year. If forecasters are correct, the shower should produce a peak display of at least 80 meteors per hour. A waxing crescent moon will set before the shower becomes active, setting a perfect stage for meteor watching -- weather permitting, of course! On Thursday,...

b5dbb5ec7e3fef6db5a7d187752dc0f21
2010-08-12 11:30:00

The annual Perseid meteor shower this week is predicted to be a grand event with peak viewing times Thursday night August 12 into the early pre-dawn hours Friday August 13. According to NASA, the shower may produce a display of up to 80 meteors an hour. For best views of the event, experts are urging spectators to get as far away from city lights as possible. The Perseid meteor shower has been ongoing for about a week and peak times were set for Wednesday night into Thursday morning, and...

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2010-08-06 06:50:00

You know it's a good night when a beautiful alignment of planets is the second best thing that's going to happen. Thursday, August 12th, is such a night. The show begins at sundown when Venus, Saturn, Mars and the crescent Moon pop out of the western twilight in tight conjunction. All four heavenly objects will fit within a circle about 10 degrees in diameter, beaming together through the dusky colors of sunset. No telescope is required to enjoy this naked-eye event: sky map. The planets...

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2010-07-24 08:00:00

The Southern Delta Aquarids are a meteor shower visible from mid July to mid August each year. Peak viewing times occur around July 28 or 29. The meteor shower originated from the breakup of the Marsden and Kracht Sungrazing comets. The Delta Aquarids get their name from the area from which they appear to originate -- the constellation Aquarius, near one of the constellation's brightest stars, Delta Aquarii. There are two branches of the Delta Aquarids meteor shower, Southern and Northern....


Latest Meteor showers Reference Libraries

4_c4d3c824e14b01f0a42ed26fd3aa94142
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Perseids Meteor Shower -- Like most meteor showers, the Perseids are caused by comet debris. As comets enter the inner solar system, they are warmed by the sun and peppered by the solar wind, which produces the familar tails that stretch across the night sky when a bright comet is close to Earth. Comet tails are made of tiny pieces of ice, dust, and rock which are spewed into interplanetary space as they bubble off the comet's nucleus. When Earth encounters these particles on its...

4_e2e27d30e4681c0d7b628fb29a1685cd2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Leonids Meteor Shower -- The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteor stream is viewable every year around November 17 and is thought to be comprised of particles ejected by the comet as it passes by the Sun. When the Earth moves through the meteor stream, the meteor shower is visible. The Leonids get their name from usually making their appearance in or near the constellation Leo. The Leonids are famous because their meteor showers,...

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