Meteor showers are astronomical phenomena which occurs when the earth passes through a region having a greater than usual concentration of interplanetary debris at particular points in its orbit. When this happens, the bits of comet debris, most no larger than a grain of sand, create streaks of light in the night sky as they burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, and we see this streak as meteors, a shower of which consists of hundreds of them together. They are generally named after the constellation in which they appear to originate.
Here are some upcoming meteor showers that you can look for in India, in their order of occurrence.
The Lyrid meteor shower will occur from April 14 to 30. It will reach its maximum rate of activity on 22nd and 23rd April. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 19 April to 25 April. The radiant of the Lyrid meteor shower is at around RA 18H10M, declination 32°N. The radiant of the shower will appear 24° above the north-eastern horizon at midnight in Bangalore.
Peak shower: 23-24 April
Eta Aquarid meteor shower appears from April 9 to May 28, with a peak shower on 6-7th of May. The point in the sky where the Eta Aquarids seem to emerge from, is in the direction of the constellation Aquarius. The shower is named after the brightest star of the constellation, Eta Aquarii. It is another annual meteor shower that is visible from India. These meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through a stream of dust and debris left behind by the comet 1P/Halley.
Peak shower: 6-7 May
The Delta Aquarids is an average shower that can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak and occurs from July 12 to August 23. Donald Machholz discovered this comet in 1986. It is produced by debris left behind by comets Marsden and Kracht. It peaks this year on the night of July 28 and morning of July 29. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky. This shower overlaps with the more famous Perseid meteor shower, which in early August is rising to its peak. It’s a short-period comet whose orbit carries it around the sun once in a little over five years.
Peak shower: 30-31 July
Perseids meteor shower occurs from July 17 to August 24. It is one of the best meteor showers to observe, producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by comet Swift-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1862. The Perseids are famous for producing a large number of bright meteors. It peaks this year on the night of August 12 and the morning of August 13. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Perseus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Draconids meteor shower is a minor meteor shower producing only about 10 meteors per hour. It appears from October 6-10 and peaks this year on the night of the 8th. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in the year 1900. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky. It will be visible from different places in india.
Peak shower: 9 October
The Orionid meteor shower is the second meteor shower created by Comet Halley, apart from the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. It appears from October 2 to November 7. Orionids are named after Orion, because the meteors seem to emerge or radiate from the same area in the sky as the constellation. The Earth passes through Halley’s path around the Sun a second time in October. This creates the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks around October 20.
Peak shower: 21-22 October
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