A Visual Guide to the Meteor Showers

By Tim Trott, 15th June 2012 in Sky at Night

Each year the Earth moves through a number of meteoroid streams, producing meteor showers at roughly the same time each year. This handy chart shows you when the most active showers occur throughout the year, along with their Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR).

No two meteor showers are alike, and each is capable of springing surprises. Meteors showers appear to emanate from a small area of the sky known as the radiant, and each meteor shower is named after the radiant's location. The Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) is a value given to the number of meteors you would see in an hour if the radiant was directly overhead under a dark sky.

The best time to observe any meteor shower is after midnight when you're facing the Earth's direction of motion through space, with the radiant at its highest.

Use the graph above to see the ZHR of selected meteor showers and when they can be seen.
Use the graph above to see the ZHR of selected meteor showers and when they can be seen.

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