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Every meteor shower to keep an eye out for 2023

Meteor showers: National Geographic discusses Earth's timeline

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2022 has come and gone, for better or for worse, and now 2023 is here, and with it comes plenty of stunning meteor showers to look forward to.

While some are not visible unless you have a super-duper telescope, there are a range of showers you can view from the comfort of your own garden.

Whether you are an avid astronomer or a budding novice, here is your guide to the skies for 2023.

Quadrantids

The Quadrantids began on December 28, 2022, and will culminate on January 12, 2023.

This year’s peak is expected to be late on Tuesday night, January 3, so head outside and bask in the almost full moon and witness the spectacular meteor shower.

On a clear night, the Quadrantid meteor shower, one of the strongest and most consistent meteor showers, can reach up to 120 meteors per hour.

Lyrids

The Lyrids run annually from April 16 to 25, with 2023’s peak occurring late on April 22.

These meteors are known for sometimes producing bright dust trails that last for several seconds.

They are most commonly associated with Comet Thatcher, a large comet that takes more than 400 years to orbit the sun once.

The Lyrids are one of the longest-observed meteor showers – the first recorded sighting was in 687 BC.

 

Eta Aquariids

The Eta Aquariids will occur from April 19 to May 28, with its peak this year taking place late on May 6.

The shower is capable of producing up to 60 meteors an hour at its peak in the southern hemisphere, whereas here in the northern hemisphere it is around 30.

However, this year the almost full moon will block out most of the brightest meteors, but you should still be able to spot a few.

They are produced by dust particles left behind by the comet Halley.

Alpha Capricornids

The Alpha Capricornids are not a very strong shower and rarely produce more than five meteors an hour.

Taking place from July 7 to August 15, its peak will take place late on July 30.

This shower is known for producing a number of bright fireballs.

Delta Aquariids

The Delta Aquariids produce around 20 meteors an hour and will take place from July 12 to August 23, peaking late on July 28.

The almost full moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year.

You will most likely spot a few after midnight, so long as you are in a dark location.

Perseids

The Perseids will run from July 17 to August 24, with its peak occurring late on August 12.

It is one of the best showers to watch, producing around 60 meteors an hour at its peak.

These bright and fast comets have tails and originate from the large Swift-Tuttle comet.

Swift-Tuttle takes 133 years to orbit the sun and was last spotted in 1992.

Orionids

The Orionids will be active from October 2 to November 7.

Its peak will occur late on October 21, when there will be around 20 visible meteors an hour.

Draconids

The Draconids are a minor shower that only produces around 10 meteors an hour.

It will run from October 6 to 10, peaking late on October 7.

Dust particles left behind by the comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900, are the cause of the meteors.

Taurids

The Taurids produce around five to 10 meteors an hour.

It takes place from September 7 to December 10, peaking late on November 4.

It consists of two separate streams, with the first produced by dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10 and the second from debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke.

Leonids

The Leonids produce up to 15 meteors an hour at its peak.

The shower runs from November 6 to 30, peaking late on November 17.

It has a cyclonic peak every 33 years where hundreds of meteors can be seen every hour, with the last of these occurring in 2001.

Geminids

The Geminids are arguably the best of the bunch, producing around 120 multicoloured meteors at its peak.

The meteors are produced by debris left behind by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982.

It will run from December 7 to 17, peaking late on December 13.

Ursids

The Ursids produce around 5 to 10 meteors an hour.

It will take place from December 17 to Christmas Day, peaking late on December 21.

The meteors are produced by dust grains left behind by the comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790.

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