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When do major meteor showers occur?

Read about when major meteor showers occur.

Meteor showers are best viewed away from the bright lights of a city. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Meteor showers are best viewed away from the bright lights of a city.

Major meteor showers occur when friction with the air causes a meteoroid to burn up. The streak, or shooting star, produced is called a meteor. Large numbers of meteors can produce a spectacular shower of light in the nighttime sky.

There are a number of groups of meteoroids circling the sun just as the Earth is. When Earth's orbit intercepts the path of one of these swarms of meteoroids, some of them enter Earth's atmosphere.

Meteor showers are named for the constellation that occupies the area of the sky from which they originate. Listed below are ten major meteor showers and the dates of the year during which they can be seen.

Name of Shower Dates
Quadrantids January 1-6
Lyrids April 19-24
Eta Aquarids May 1-8
Perseids July 25-August 18
Orlonids October 16-26
Taurids October 20-November 20
Leonids November 13-17
Phoenicids December 4-5
Geminids December 7-15
Ursids December 17-24

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