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Latest Meteor showers Stories

Image 1 - Get Ready For A Draconid Meteor Outburst
2011-10-05 03:59:20

On October 8th Earth is going to plow through a stream of dust from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, and the result could be an outburst of Draconid meteors. "We're predicting as many as 750 meteors per hour," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "The timing of the shower favors observers in the Middle East, north Africa and parts of Europe." Every 6.6 years Comet Giacobini-Zinner swings through the inner solar system. With each visit, it lays down a narrow filament of...

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2011-08-15 09:45:00

The annual Perseid meteor shower is a sky watching ritual with star gazers and photographers out in abundance every year for the light show. There have been uncountable photographs of this event over the years, but a fresh take on this is now available. NASA astronaut Ron Garan found himself in a unique position for this annual show, above the meteor and looking down from the International Space Station (ISS) as the space rocks turned to flame and fell through the atmosphere. Garan makes...

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2011-08-09 13:11:10

The Perseid meteor shower is peaking around August 12 through the 13th, but this year it will have to pierce through the sky against a full Moon. The Perseid meteor shower has been observed for about 2000 years and is associated with the comet Switf-Tuttle. The shower is visible from mid-July each year, with the peak in activity being between August 9 and 14, depending on the particular location of the stream. The rate of meteors reaches 60 or more per hour during the peak hours, and they...

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2011-05-04 07:00:00

Would you like to see a piece of Halley's Comet? Now's your chance! Each spring as Earth passes through the debris trail from Halley's Comet (1P/Halley), the cosmic bits burn up in our atmosphere and result in the annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower. In 2011 the peak will occur on the night of May 5 and into the morning of May 6. A dark new moon on May 3 will help darken the night skies for a good viewing experience, with meteor rates of about 40-60 meteors per hour under ideal conditions. Ideal...

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2011-04-28 13:45:00

Dauna Coulter, Science@NASA Looking for an adventure? Get up in the wee hours of the morning May 6th and head out into the country, far from the city lights. You won't be alone. The birds will be up and singing about the coming dawn, and, of course, about the eta Aquarid meteor shower. The eta Aquarids are best viewed from the southern hemisphere, but there's something special about them no matter where you live: "Each eta Aquarid meteoroid is a piece of Halley's Comet doing a kamikaze death...

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2010-12-13 18:00:00

Monday evening and Tuesday morning will provide the peak time to enjoy the 2010 Geminid meteor shower. Astronomy aficionados in most parts of the world will be able to see what the AFP news agency dubs "the best meteor shower of the year" through December 16. To celebrate the celestial event, NASA conducted a special "Up All Night" online event, and will continue to show live audio and video of the Geminids from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama through Thursday....

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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...

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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...


Latest Meteor showers Reference Libraries

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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...

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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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Word of the Day
omadhaun
  • A fool; a simpleton: a term of abuse common in Ireland and to a less extent in the Gaelic-speaking parts of Scotland.
This word is partly Irish in origin.