10 Meteor Showers and Comets We Eagerly Wait For

During a year, many times we see thousands of celestial objects that light up a night sky.We know them as a shooting star, but in reality, they have nothing to do with a star. In fact, they are celestial debris and these small like particles are known as meteoroids. When the number of these small particles(or shooting star) flash across the sky the from same point it is known as meteor showers.

Meteors and Comet showers have always been a fascination to human beings. And they occur very rarely and some even once in many centuries and this is what makes them unique. Only comets like Haley’s comet and comet Holmes are visible to the naked eye, for the rest of them, a telescope is required. But when will be next meteor or comet showers? Where will be they visible? Do not worry about these questions. Below is the list of some of the most awaited showers that will be happening in the near future.

1.Haley’s Comet

This was a no-brainer. This is perhaps the most known comet in the world and we all know that they occur every 75-76 years. The last time it was visible in 1986 and it will appear again in 2061. Whenever Haley’s comet passes through, it leaves a trail of dust and due to this Orionids and Eta Aquariids are seen. Orionids in October and Eta Aquariids are seen in May.

2. Geminids

It is said that the December month is good as far meteor shower watchers are concerned. The reason is the Geminids and the Ursids peak in the month of December. Geminids can be seen during 13-14 December whereas the Ursids are visible on 22-23 December. Geminids can be visible after 8 pm in the northern hemisphere with a naked eye.

3. Draconids

This meteor shower is named after the Draco, the dragon and usually peaks around the month of October on 7-8th. To visit this shower the best time is after the sunset in a clear dark sky. These showers have less radiance and are visible in temperate and northern regions like Canada, Europe, US and northern Asia.

4. Comet ISON

Our next comet is fairly new and it was recently discovered in 2012. The anticipation for this comet was so high that every media, experts were eagerly waiting for it in 2013. Even mobile applications were made for people to know the location and time of this shower occurring. But unfortunately, the comet was believed to be disintegrated when it was passing through sun’s atmosphere. Experts believe that the near future occurrence of this comet is expected to make it one of the most eagerly awaited comet shower.

5. Leonids

One of the other meteoric showers that are eagerly anticipated is Leonoids that is usually visible around November and peaks in mid-November. It derives the name from Leo constellation and occurs every year except in 2015 when the waxing of moon was set during the evening hours. One of the most meteoric shower during Leonoids was 1000s of meteors/minute.

6. Orionids

As we told you earlier this meteor shower is associated with the dust and debris of Haley’s comet and is visible every October and peaks around 21-22 October. It depicts its name from Orion constellation and may even occur at the rate of 50-70 per hour in the future. Although the current average view of the shower is amazing enough. The ideal time to watch this shower is after 1:30 am. During the shower, the meteors are very bright and thus it can be visible in towns and cities as well. Even though the showers originate from Orion constellation it is in your best interest to not look straight at Orion as they only begin from there and the streak continues across the sky.

7. Comet Linear

This comet was discovered in 2004 and appears every 5 years. The last one was observed on May 6, 2014, and is now eagerly awaited on June 12, 2019. To watch this comet best place is around South Carolina and the continental US. The meteors are around 100-400 per hour. And it creates a fascinating view for all the meteor lovers.

8. Comet Holmes

Initially, this comet appeared to be very faint but it was in October 2007 that it was clearly visible for the first time. It can be seen from the naked eye and is also the largest known outburst of a comet. The reason for this was because its diameter appeared to be greater than Sun. Therefore, it is also known as the largest object in the solar system. It was discovered in 1892 and has an orbital period of around six years. Last time it was visible on March 24, 2014. It is expected to be visible around February 19, 2021.

9. Comet Encke

This is also one of the common comets along with Haley’s comet and has been known since 1786. Its orbital period is of 3 years, most common among other comets. It is clearly visible on the December mornings. Although the last time it was spotted on March 10, 2017. This comet can be clearly seen in the northern hemisphere and the best time to see it is around pre-dawn. It is also responsible for the other two meteor showers – one is the Beta Taurids in June and another one is the Taurids in November. Comet Encke is next predicted around 25 – 27 June 2020

10. Quadrantid and Lyrid meteor shower

These meteor showers are one of the first meteoric showers you can witness in the calendar year. Quadrantids are visible in January and Lyrids are in April. As far as rates of meteors are concerned Quadrantid has meteor rates than Lyrid, but it only lasts for few hours. Quadrantids radiate from the constellation Bootes which is not far away from the Big Dipper. The peak of Quadrantid is around January 3 and that of Lyrids is around April 22. Lyrids are more visible in dawn and they radiate from Lyra constellation. About 10-20 meteors per hour can be visible during this time.

For any meteoric lover, this is quite a comprehensive list and makes up for almost every month in the year. Also, for non-meteor shower lovers, all the dates are available so you can mark up your calendar and look up for these showers because one thing we can assure is it will be quite a fascinating scene. Although the timing of some of the showers can be up down by a month due to the changes in atmosphere. Also, you don’t know, you might come across more beautiful and mesmerizing things of nature at the time. Do keep track of these things as it can be a once in a lifetime experience. And if you come across any of these experiences do share with us in the comment section below.

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Samip Shah

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