At certain times of the year, we observe the appearance of regular currents of particles, giving rise to the appearance of 1 to 3 meteors per hour, or even a little more. Some streams or swarms, however, are more important than others.
The swarms, identified by the name of the constellation from which the meteors seem to come, can be the source of real “rains” of shooting stars, when the Earth crosses the heart of an old stream of particles the disintegration of a comet, or cross debris and dust freshly ejected.
These meteor showers are the North Taurids (few but slow and clearly visible), Leonids (spectacular) and Alpha-Monocerotides (unpredictable).
November 12th: Northern Taurids.
Crédit photo : Asim Patel / Wikipedia
They were discovered in 1869 by Giuseppe Zezioli. Evolving at a fairly slow speed (well, all the same 29km per second!) The Taurides north are, like the Southern Taurides, associated with the comet 2P / Encke.
The first Taurides north are visible since October 20 and can still be admired until December 10. But it is around November 12 that the peak of observation will take place. It should be possible to observe about five per hour.
The rains of shooting stars will still be clouded because of the November 14 Super-Moon. Because its greater brightness will certainly hide the shooting stars that shine the least.
November 17: Leonids.
They are from Comet Tempel-Tuttle. To see and find the Leonids, you will have to search for the constellation Leo.
On November 17, 1833, the meteors had been so numerous, that they were named outright storms, observers had seen between 50,000 and 200,000 per hour!
The Leonids will be visible between November 6 and 30 and we can best observe them on November 17. We should not expect the same phenomenon as in 1833 – the next peak is expected for 2032 (every 33 years) – we will see perhaps, according to specialists, 15 meteors per hour.
November 21st: Alpha-Monocerotides
To see them and admire the show, you will have to look for the constellation of the Unicorn.
Source image :
To know how much there will be this year, it will be necessary to look at the sky far from the lights of the cities …
Alpha-Monocerotides, discovered in 1925 by Bradley, this swarm could come from comet 1943 W1. However, astronomers have no certainty. The swarm has the distinction of being observable three years in a row, then disappears for about seven years, to be observable again three years, on a cycle of ten years which restarts on a burst of activity. The last one dates back to 1995.