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Annual meteor showers
|Shower Name||Date of Maximum||Normal Limits||Rate/
|Quadrantids||Jan 3-4||Jan 1-6||60||Blue meteors with fine trains|
|Lyrids||April 22||April 16-25||10-15||Bright fast meteors, some with trains. Associated with Comet Thatcher|
|Eta Aquarids||May 5||Apr 24-May 20||35||Low in sky. Associated with Comet Halley|
|Alpha Capricornids||Aug 2||July 15-
|5||Yellow slow fireballs|
|Perseids||Aug 12-13||July 23-
|75||Many bright fast meteors with trains. Associated with Comet Swift-Tuttle (1737, 1862, 1992)|
|Orionids||Oct 22||Oct 16-27||25||Fast with fine trains. Associated with Comet Halley|
|Taurids||Nov 4||Oct 20-
|10||Very slow meteors|
|Leonids||Nov 17-18||Nov 15-20||Variable (30-300)||Fast bright meteors with fine trains. Associated with Comet Tempel-Tuttle|
|Geminids||Dec 14||Dec 7-16||75||Plenty of bright meteors, few trains|
Dates given above may vary slightly from year to year. Some showers give much better shows every few years. The presence of a bright moon will severely reduce the chances of seeing meteors.
The best time to see a meteor show is always between midnight and dawn.
About meteor showers
Many meteors originated in material stripped from comets by radiation from the Sun. This material continues to follow the orbit of the originating comet but gets spread out along the orbit. If the path of the Earth passes through this stream of particles then we will see many meteors whose paths in the sky will appear to radiate from one point in the sky (the radiant) which is in the direction from which the stream is coming.
Some meteor showers are associated with known comets while others are remnants of comets that are unknown. Most showers produce about 20 or so meteors per hour but some (very rare) showers can produce thousands of meteors over a period of less than an hour.
Meteor showers are named after the constellation from which they appear to radiate.