Q:

Is there a way to check projected meteor shower times?

A:

Quick Answer

American Meteor Shower and EarthSky both contain a calendar of projected meteor shower times on their websites. EarthSky shows times for meteor showers in 2015, while users can peruse times of meteor showers from 2011 to 2025 on American Meteor Shower.

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Is there a way to check projected meteor shower times?
Credit: European Southern Observatory CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

The EarthSky calendar for projected meteor show times contains the dates the meteor shower is predicted to peak, or when it is expected to have the greatest rate of meteors falling per hour. The American Meteor Shower calendar, on the other hand, contains the active dates for the entire meteor shower. For example, the American Meteor Shower shows the Southern Taurids as active from Sept. 7 to Nov. 19, 2015, but EarthSky projects the peak of the meteor shower between Nov. 4 and Nov. 5, 2015.

For the most part the two websites show the same meteor showers; however, American Meteor Shower predicts meteor showers that EarthSky does not and vice versa. For example, American Meteor Shower projects the Ursids to peak around Christmas time, something the EarthSky calendar does not show, and EarthSky predicts the Draconids in October, which the American Meteor Shower calendar does not show.

The first meteor shower every year is usually the Quadrantids, which peaks in Janurary. The Perseids, active from July 13 to Aug. 26, 2015, are the most popular meteor shower in the northern hemisphere.

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