2010 Meteor Showers

January

Quadrantids

January 3-4

Frequency:  31-45 per hour

84.3% illumination
Typically, 40 or so bright, blue and fast (25.5 miles per second) meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, some blazing more than halfway across the sky. A small percentage of them leave persistent dust trains. This shower usually has a very sharp peak, usually lasting only about an hour.
Parent Comet:  2003 EH1

April

Lyrids

April 21-22

Frequency:  16-30 per hour

61% illumination
The swift and bright Lyrid meteors disintegrate after hitting our atmosphere at a moderate speed of 29.8 miles per second. They often produce luminous trains of dust that can be observed for several seconds.
Parent Comet:  C/Thatcher

May

Eta Aquarids

May 5-6

Frequency:  0-15 per hour

57.6% illumination
Parent Comet:  1P/Halley

June

Lyrids

June 14-16

Frequency:  0-15 per hour

12.3% illumination
The June Lyrids is a low-rate shower during which you could see up to 10 meteors per hour during its peak.

July

Delta Aquarids

July 28-29

Frequency:  16-30 per hour

95.2% illumination
At peak time about 20 bright, yellow meteors can be observed per hour. Because these meteors nearly broadside the Earth, their speed is a moderate 25.5 miles per second.

Capricornids

July 29-30

Frequency:  0-15 per hour

82.4% illumination
The Capricornids are characterized by their often yellow coloration and their frequent brightness. They are also slow interplanetary interlopers, hitting our atmosphere at around 15 miles per second. Though you can expect only 15 meteors per hour at best under dark sky conditions, the Capricornids are noted for producing brilliant fireballs.

August

Perseids

August 12-13

Frequency:  45+ per hour

5.9% illumination
This shower produces about 60 meteors per hour, and its performance is farily consistant from year to year.
Parent Comet:  109P/Swift-Tuttle

October

Draconids

October 8-9

Frequency:  0-15 per hour

1.7% illumination
Expect a peak rate of 10 meteors per hour under clear, moonless conditions.
Parent Comet:  21P/Giacobini-Zinner

Orionids

October 21-22

Frequency:  16-30 per hour

97.4% illumination
This shower produces a peak rate of 20 yellow and green meteors per hour, which are fast moving at 41.6 miles per second and are known to produce fireballs.
Parent Comet:  1P/Halley

November

Leonids

November 17-18

Frequency:  31-45 per hour

82.9% illumination
The Leonids are best known for their 33-year peaks, during which 100s of meteors per hour can be observed. The last of these peaks occured in 2001.
Parent Comet:  55P/Tempel-Tuttle

December

Geminids

December 13-14

Frequency:  45+ per hour

48.3% illumination
The most reliable meteor shower of the year, the Geminids are characterized by their multi-colored display–65% being white, 26% yellow, and the remaining 9% blue, red and green.
Parent Comet:  3200 Phaethon
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