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Meteor Streams

Meteor Storm
Woodcut of November 12, 1799 showing the Leonid meteor shower event.

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.

code Meteor Stream Peak Activity PO ID Parent Body
QUA Quadrantids early January 01-05 a0196256 196256 (2003 EH1)
DCA delta-Cancrids mid-January 01-15  
ACE alpha Centaurids early February 02-05  
LYR April Lyrids late April 04-25 dI61G010 C/1861 G1 (Thatcher)
PPU pi Puppids late April 04-26 c00026_0 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup
ETA eta Aquariids early May 05-05 c00001_0 1P/Halley
ELY eta Lyrids mid-May 05-15 dJ83H010 C/1983 H1 (IRAS-Araki-Alcock)
JBO June Bootids late June 06-25 c00007_0 7P/Pons-Winnecke
JPE July Pegasids early July 07-05 dJ79Y010 C/1979 Y1 (Bradfield)
SDA Southern delta Aquariids late July 07-25 dK08Y120 P/2008 Y12 (SOHO)
CAP alpha Capricornids late July 07-26 c00169_0 169P/NEAT
PAU Piscis Austrinids late July 07-27  
NDA Northern delta Aquariids mid-August 08-15  
NIA Northern iota Aquariids mid-August 08-16  
KCG kappa Cygnids mid-August 08-17  
PER Perseids mid-August 08-18 c00109_0 109P/Swift-Tuttle
NIA Northern iota Aquariids late-August 08-25  
AUR Aurigids late August 08-26 dK11N010 C/1911 N1 (Kiess)
SPE September epsilon Perseids mid-September 09-15  
DRA October Draconids early October 10-05 c00021_0 21P/Giacobini-Zinner
EGE epsilon Geminids mid-October 10-15  
ORI Orionids mid-October 10-16 c00001_0 1P/Halley
STA Southern Taurids mid-October 10-17 c00002_0 2P/Encke
LMI Leonis Minorids late October 10-25 dH39K010 C/1739 K1
LEO Leonids mid-November 11-15 c00055_0 55P/Tempel-Tuttle
NTA Northern Taurids mid-November 11-16 bK04T10G (2004 TG10)
AMO alpha Monocerotids late November 11-25  
NOO November Orionids late November 11-26  
HYD sigma Hydrids early December 12-05  
MON December Monocerotids early December 12-06 dK17F010 C/1917 F1 (Mellish)
PHO Phoenicids early December 12-07  
GEM Geminids mid-December 12-15 a0003200 3200 Phaethon
COM Comae Berenicids late December 12-25  
URS Ursids late December 12-26 c00008_0 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.