NAME PEAK DATE DURATION CONSTELLATION AVERAGE HOURLY RATE COMET OF ORIGIN 1 week November 20
AVERAGE HOURLY RATE
COMET OF ORIGIN
**The Geminids seem to be the only meteor shower that does not originate from a comet. It's source seems to be associated with an asteroid named 3200 Phaeton, which is probably the dead core of a comet.
Meteors are streaks of light that fly through the night sky. They are composed of tiny particles of stone or dust, most often no larger than a grain of sand, that burn up due to friction with Earth's atmosphere.
When these particles are in space, they are called "Meteoroids". When they are burning in the atmosphere and we see the light, they are properly called "Meteors", though they are commonly referred to as "Shoot Stars" or "Falling Stars". It should be noted that real stars do not fall from the sky. If the object makes it to the ground without being totally incinerated, that object is then called a "Meteorite".
Meteor Showers occur due to the Earth passing through or near the path of a comet. As comets melt and sublimate due to the sun's energy, they release thousands of tiny dust particles. As Earth encounters these particles, the particles burn up because of friction with Earth's atmosphere. We see more meteors during a shower because we are passing the comet's orbit which has a much higher concentration of particles than normal space. Since the Earth passes that same spot in it's orbit at the same time each year, meteor showers occur on nearly the same dates every year.
What's A Radiant? Because all meteors within a shower are falling toward Earth in parallel paths, to the observer this creates the illusion that they are all originating from one spot in the sky (similar to the way two railroad tracks seem to come together at the horizon). The spot that the shower seems to emanate from is called the "Radiant". The constellation that a given meteor shower's radiant is in, is the constellation that the shower is named after. Hence the famous Perseids have their radiant in the constellation of Perseus.