|Parent body||2003 EH1|
|Occurs during||December 28-January 12|
|Date of peak||January 3|
|Zenithal hourly rate||120|
The Quadrantids have a relatively narrow peak of as little as four hours, (compared to two days for the August Perseids), which means the stream of particles that produces this shower is narrow, and apparently deriving within the last 500 years.
The parent body of the Quadrantids was tentatively identified in 2003 by Peter Jenniskens as the minor planet 2003 EH1.
The name comes from Quadrans Muralis, a former constellation created in 1795 by the French astronomer Jérôme Lalande that is now part of Boötes.
|Discovery Date||Known since antiquity|
|Parent body||C/1861 G1 (Thatcher)|
|Occurs during||April 16 – April 25|
|Date of peak||April 22|
|Zenithal hourly rate||18/hr|
The Lyrids last from April 16 to April 26 each year and appear to radiate from the constellation Lyra, near this constellation’s brightest star, Alpha Lyrae (proper name Vega). Their peak is typically around April 22 each year.
The source of the meteor shower is particles of dust shed by the long-period Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. The April Lyrids are the strongest annual shower of meteors from debris of a long-period comet, mainly because as far as other intermediate long-period comets go (200–10,000 years), this one has a relatively short orbital period of about 415 years. The Lyrids have been observed and reported since 687 BC; no other modern shower has been recorded as far back in time.
The shower usually peaks on around April 22 and the morning of April 23. Counts typically range from 5 to 20 meteors per hour, averaging around 10.
|Parent body||Halley’s Comet|
|Constellation||Aquarius (near Eta Aquarii)|
|Occurs during||April 19 – May 28|
|Date of peak||May 6|
|Zenithal hourly rate||55|
The shower is visible from about April 19 to about May 28 each year with peak activity on or around May 5. Unlike most major annual meteor showers, there is no sharp peak for this shower, but rather a broad maximum with good rates that last approximately one week centered on May 5. The meteors we currently see as members of the Eta Aquariid shower separated from Halley’s Comet hundreds of years ago. The current orbit of Halley’s Comet does not pass close enough to the Earth to be a source of meteoric activity.
The Eta Aquariids get their name because their radiant appears to lie in the constellation Aquarius, near the bright star, Eta Aquarii. The shower peaks at about a rate of around a meteor per minute, although such rates are rarely seen from Arkansas due to the low altitude of the radiant. The radiant of the shower is only above the horizon for the few hours before dawn, and early-rising observers, away from city lights, are often rewarded with rates that climb as the radiant rises before sunrise.
Delta Aquariids – July 27
Alpha Capricornids – July 28
Perseids – August 11
Orionids – October 21
Southern Taurids – October 9
Northern Taurids – November 12
Leonids – November 17
Geminids – December 13
Ursids – December 21
General Viewing Tips: Most meteor showers are best viewed from 2-4 am, due to the Earth’s motion around the Sun. While the meteors will appear to ‘radiate’ from one point in the sky, there is no one direction that is better to look in to see the most shooting stars. They can appear anywhere in the sky. Rest back in a lawn chair that lets you look up and face in the direction that has the darkest (looking away from city lights, moon, etc) and clearest view.