Meteor Shower Calendar

The meteor shower calendar is compiled by Alastair McBeath based on information in IMO Monograph No.2: Handbook for Visual Meteor Observers, edited by J├╝rgen Rendtel, Rainer Arlt and Alastair McBeath, IMO, 1995, additional material extracted from reliable data analyses produced since.

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The heart of the Calendar is the Working List of Visual Meteor Showers, thanks to regular updating from analyses using the IMO's Visual Meteor Database, the single most accurate listing available anywhere today for naked-eye meteor observing. Even this can never be a complete list of all meteor showers, since there are many showers which cannot be properly detected visually, and some which only photographic, radar, telescopic, or video observations can separate from the background sporadic meteors, present throughout the year.

The IMO's aims are to encourage, collect, analyze, and publish combined meteor data obtained from sites all over the globe in order to further our understanding of the meteor activity detectable from the Earth's surface. Results from only a few localized places can never provide such total comprehension, and it is thanks to the efforts of the many it IMO observers worldwide since 1988 that we have been able to achieve as much as we have to date. This is not a matter for complacency, however, since it is solely by the continued support of many people across the whole world that our steps towards constructing a better and more complete picture of the near-Earth meteoroid flux can proceed. This means that all meteor workers, wherever they are and whatever methods they use to record meteors, should follow the standard IMO observing guidelines when compiling their information, and submit their data promptly to the appropriate Commission for analysis.

Visual and photographic techniques remain popular for nightly meteor coverage (weather permitting), although both suffer considerably from the presence of moonlight. Telescopic observations are much less popular, but they allow the fine detail of shower radiant structures to be derived, and they permit very low activity showers to be accurately detected. Video methods continue to be dynamically applied as in the last few years, and are starting to bear considerable fruit. These have the advantages, and disadvantages, of both photographic and telescopic observing, plus some of their own, but are increasing in importance. Radio receivers can be utilized at all times, regardless of clouds, moonlight, or daylight, and provide the only way in which 24-hour meteor observing can be accomplished for most latitudes. Together, these methods cover virtually the entire range of meteoroid sizes, from the very largest fireball-producing events (using all-sky photographic and video patrols or visual observations) through to tiny dust grains producing extremely faint telescopic or radio meteors.

However and whenever you are able to observe, we wish you all a most successful year's work and very much look forward to receiving your data.

Clear skies!