Info

Meteor shower

Approximate date

Approximate meteor rate

Quadrantids

end Dec. to beginning Jan.

60 per hour

Lyrids

mid- to end Apr.

10 per hour

Eta Aquarids

end Apr. to beginning May

20 per hour

Perseids

end July to end Aug.

75 per hour

Oronids

mid- to end Oct.

30 per hour

Leonids

mid- to end Nov.

10 per hour

Geminids

beginning to mid-Dec.

75 per hour

atmosphere, their original orbits can be determined. Most are found to have orbits similar to Apollo and Aten family asteroids (these are asteroids that have orbits near Earth's orbit; see below).

Although comets are the prime candidates for leaving behind the tiny dust particles that create meteor showers when the Earth moves through them, recently the near-Earth asteroid 2101 Adonis has become a new suspect. Scientists made careful calculations about its path through the solar system and pinpointed the places where the Earth's orbit intersects the orbit of this asteroid.They found that 2101 Adonis may be the source of the material that creates a number of minor meteor showers, including the nighttime sigma-Capricornids and chi-Sagittariids and the daytime chi-Capricornids. The scientist who did this calculation, Poulat B. Babadzhanov, a scientist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Tajik Academy of Sciences, suggests that 2101 Adonis may be an old comet or an asteroid with a large ice component. Babadzhanov also suggests that the small near-Earth asteroid 1995 CS, only 50 meters in diameter, may be a fragment of 2101 Adonis, since it lies in the 2101 Adonis meteoroid stream.These interesting calculations further show that the line between asteroids and comets is blurry; this might have been expected since the asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter, that is, between the last rocky planet and the first icy planet.

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