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Meteor Showers: Yearly Schedule and Radiant

Meteor Shower NameStart and End Date
(Peaks Vary by Year)
Typical
Meteors/Hour
Radiant ConstellationDescription
QuadrantidsJanuary 1 to 660Boötes, near the Big DipperBlue meteors with fine trains. Likely associated with
Comet C/1490 Y1.
LyridsApril 16 to 2510 -15LyraBright fast meteors, some with trains. Associated with
Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, the oldest recorded meteor
shower still visible today and first recorded in 687 BCE.
Eta AquariidsApr 24 to May 2035Aquarius near the star Eta AquariiLow in sky. Associated with Comet Halley.
Delta AquariidsJuly 12 to August 23 20Aquarius near the star Delta AquariiSteady stream of meteors over several days. Likely
associated with Comet 96P/Machholz.
Alpha Capricornids (no link)July 15 to August 255CapricornYellow slow fireballs. Associated with Comet 169P/NEAT.
PerseidsJuly 23 to August 2075PerseusMany bright fast meteors with trains. Associated with
Comet Swift-Tuttle (1737, 1862, 1992).
DraconidsOctober 2 to 1610DracoLess active meteor shower. Associated with
Comet 21/P Giacobini-Zimmer
OrionidsOctober 16 to 2725OrionFast with fine trains. Associated with Comet Halley
(Comet 1P/Halley).
TauridsSeptember 10 to December 1010TaurusVery slow meteors. Taurids are two separate showers
including a Southern and Northern component.
Associated with Comet 2P/Encke, a remnant of a larger
comet that disintegrated the last 20,000 to 30,000 years.
Note, some resources refer to the Northern Taurids as
being associated with the asteroid 2004 TG10, that also
shares the same parent body as Comet 2P/Encke. The
Beta Taurid meteor stream is the suspected source of the
massive and devastating June 1908 Tunguska airburst.
LeonidsNovember 15 to 2030-300LeoFast bright meteors with fine trains. Associated with
Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The 1833 storm was particularly
spectacular, with an estimated 100,000 meteors per hour.
GeminidsDecember 7 to1675Gemini, near the star CastorPlenty of bright meteors, few trains. Associated with
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Only major meteor shower not associated with a comet.
UrsidsDecember 7 to 255Ursa Minor, near the Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab)Sparse shower. Associated with Comet 8P/Tuttle.

Much of the information listed above was gathered from the Royals Museum Greenwich website. To check on specific dates for peak observation times, please click the links above.

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All Known Bodies in Our Solar System Larger than 322 km in Diameter

solar system
Image Credit: Alan Taylor, March 30, 2007

Click on the image and then use magnify. Then, by scrolling sideways the user gets an excellent perspective of the relative size of the 88 known objects (from 2007) in our solar system larger than 322 kn (200 miles) in diameter.

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Five (5) Moons of the Dwarf Planet Pluto

The 5 moons of the dwarf planet Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Image shows a sliver of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, and all four of Pluto’s small moons, as resolved by New Horizons spacecraft. Charon has a diameter of 751 miles (1,212 kilometers). Nix & Hydra have comparable sizes, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) across in their longest dimension above. Kerberos and Styx are much smaller and have comparable sizes, roughly 6-7 miles (10-12 kilometers) across in their longest dimension. All four small moons have highly elongated shapes, a characteristic thought to be typical of small bodies in the Kuiper Belt.

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Comet Eaten By Sun

Comet Destroyed By Sun

A Comet Gets Eaten By The Sun! Check out the videos available on NASA website.

The Solar & Heliospheric Observatory SOHO) is a project of international collaboration between ESA and NASA to study the Sun from its deep core to the outer corona and its solar wind. The SOHO spacecraft captured the arcing orbit of a sungrazing comet as it approached the Sun (Jan. 3, 2010) and evaporated. The comet is believed to belong to the Kreutz family of comets that broke up from a much larger comet many hundreds of years ago. They are known to orbit close to the Sun. This comet was one of the brightest sungrazing comets that SOHO has observed in its 14 years of operation. SOHO’s coronagraph instruments block out the Sun with an occulting disk; the white circle represents the size of the Sun. The comet was discovered on Jan. 2nd by Australian amateur astronomer Alan Watson, who was inspecting images obtained by STEREO-A’s Heliospheric Imager on Dec. 30, 2009.

This post is based, in part, on content licensed from E. Wichman from the defunct website www.meteoritesUSA.com that was purchased by SkyFall Meteorites. 

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Jupiter Impact Captured on Video

 Jupiter Asteroid Impact
June 3rd 2010 Jupiter Asteroid Impact Explosion

Earth is saved! Again… It seems our Grandfather planet Jupiter has saved Earth from certain annihilation yet again. An invisible threat made itself visible on June 3rd when a rogue asteroid slammed into Jupiter and created a brilliant explosion visible from the relative safety of our own home planet.

At 20:31:29 on June 3rd, 2010 Anthony Wesley, an amateur astronomer and astrophotographer in Australia captured on video, an actual asteroid impacting the gas giant Jupiter. The brilliant flash and fireball created by this impact is said to be the equivalent of thousands of nuclear explosions detonating at once.

July 19th 2009 Asteroid Impact Scar
July 19th 2009 Asteroid Impact Scar

This isn’t the first time Anthony found evidence of an asteroid impact on Jupiter. Last year on July 19, 2009 Anthony took this now world famous photo.

The coolest part about this most recent event is that Anthony captured the actual impact on video!

Jupiter acts as our bodyguard. The massive forces of gravity that Jupiter exert on celestial bodies which come close enough are enough to rip apart huge comets and asteroids and suck them into the depths of it’s gaseous atmosphere thereby removing the threat of that body impacting with the Earth.

There is so much unseen debris floating around out there in space. We’re finding more new NEO (Near Earth Objects) every day. Literally. It’s only a matter of time until we find another object that might just impact Earth like we did with Asteroid 2008 TC3. This particular asteroid was found by Richard Kowalski with the Catalina Sky Survey. Richard is an asteroid hunter, and discovered the first asteroid ever in the history of mankind to have been predicted to impact Earth. Not only was the time of asteroid impact predicted, but the place of impact and subsequently meteorites were found by scientists thanks to this data.

Jupiter has saved our planet from asteroid and comet impacts more times than we can ever fathom. However, that doesn’t mean there’s not another asteroid out there with our name on it. Let just hope that Jupiter keeps on doing what it’s been doing for billions of years.

Protecting Earth…

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From Spaceweather.com – “...I still can’t believe that I caught a live impact on Jupiter,” says Go, who has made a must-see video of the event.

“There were no visible remains at the impact point for the next half hour or so, until sunrise put an end to the imaging,” says Wesley…”

Jupiter Asteroid Collision Resource Links: