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Meteor Streams

Meteor streams are groups of meteoroids originating typically from dust grains ejected from comets. These small dust grains are distributed along the parent comet's orbit concentrated close to the comet nucleus with fewer grains farther away from the nucleus. Every time the Earth passes through such a stream of dust particles (i.e. meteor stream), we experience what is known as a meteor shower.

Of particular interest to solar system dynamics is the association of a parent (source) body with a specific meteor stream. The following table lists known meteor streams with significant activity in chronological order of peak activity. In addition to the name of the meteor stream and time of peak activity, the associated parent body (where known) is also shown.

Meteor Stream Peak Activity Parent Body
Quadrantids early January 196256 (2003 EH1)
delta-Cancrids mid-January  
alpha Centaurids early February  
April Lyrids late April C/1861 G1 (Thatcher)
pi Puppids late April 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup
eta Aquariids early May 1P/Halley
eta Lyrids mid-May C/1983 H1 (IRAS-Araki-Alcock)
June Bootids late June 7P/Pons-Winnecke
July Pegasids early July C/1979 Y1 (Bradfield)
Southern delta Aquariids late July P/2008 Y12 (SOHO)
alpha Capricornids late July 169P/NEAT
Piscis Austrinids late July  
Northern delta Aquariids mid-August  
Northern iota Aquariids mid-August  
kappa Cygnids mid-August  
Perseids mid-August 109P/Swift-Tuttle
Northern iota Aquariids late-August  
Aurigids late August C/1911 N1 (Kiess)
September epsilon Perseids mid-September  
October Draconids early October 21P/Giacobini-Zinner
epsilon Geminids mid-October  
Orionids mid-October 1P/Halley
Southern Taurids mid-October 2P/Encke
Leonis Minorids late October C/1739 K1
Leonids mid-November 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
Northern Taurids mid-November (2004 TG10)
alpha Monocerotids late November  
November Orionids late November  
sigma Hydrids early December  
December Monocerotids early December C/1917 F1 (Mellish)
Phoenicids early December  
Geminids mid-December 3200 Phaethon (3200)
Comae Berenicids late December  
Ursids late December 8P/Tuttle

This list of meteor streams is based on data from the IAU Meteor Data Center and the references therein. Peak activity times were verified using the database from the American Meteor Society.

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