Enjoy watching the meteors? Below is a general annual timetable of when about you can expect to see them in the night sky over the UK.
Orionids due 21st-22nd October 2020
The Orionid meteor shower is one of the best known and most reliable meteor showers in the annual calendar, visible from across the globe.
Some people view the shower as extra special as the meteors are actually pieces of Comet 1P/Halley, famously known as Halley’s comet. The famous comet swings by the earth only once every 75 – 76 years but this annual shower provides some compensation for those who may miss that once in a lifetime event.
As the comet follows its path around the sun, it leaves a path of tiny debris. The cometary debris enters our planet’s atmosphere at speeds of around 41 miles per second, vaporising from friction with the air causing the streaks of light we call meteors.
Meteor shower dates 2020
|Shower Name||Date of Maximum||Normal Limits||Rate/Hour||Description|
|Quadrantids||3-4 January||28 Dec-12 Jan||120||Blue meteors with fine trains|
|Lyrids||21-22 April||13-29 April||18||Bright fast meteors, some with trains. Associated with Comet Thatcher|
|Eta Aquariids||5-6 May||18 Apr-27 May||35||Low in sky. Associated with Comet Halley|
|Delta Aquariids||29-30 July||11 July – 22 Aug||20||Steady stream of meteors over several days but a low rate per hour|
|Alpha Capricornids||29-30 July||2 July -14 Aug||5||Yellow slow fireballs|
|Perseids||12-13 August||16 July – 23 Aug||100||Many bright fast meteors with trains. Associated with Comet Swift-Tuttle (1737, 1862, 1992)|
|Draconids||8-9 October||5-9 October||~10||Associated with Comet 21/P Giacobini-Zimmer|
|Orionids||21-22 October||1 Oct – 6 Nov||25||Fast with fine trains. Associated with Comet Halley|
Southern: 9-10 Oct
Northern: 10-11 Nov
Southern: 10 Sep – 20 Nov
Northern: 19 Oct – 9 Dec
|10||Very slow meteors|
|Leonids||17-18 November||5-29 November||15||Fast bright meteors with fine trains. Associated with Comet Tempel-Tuttle|
|Geminids||14-15 December||4-17 December||100+||Plenty of bright meteors, few trains|
|Ursids||21-22 December||16-25 December||<10||Sparse shower. Associated with comet 8P/Tuttle|