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June Bootid meteor shower

Dominic Ford, Editor
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The sky at

The June Bootid meteor shower will be active from 22 June to 2 July, producing its peak rate of meteors around 27 June.

Over this period, there will be a chance of seeing June Bootid meteors whenever the shower's radiant point – in the constellation Bootes – is above the horizon.

From Fairfield , the radiant point is above the horizon all night, which means that the shower will be active throughout the hours of darkness. The radiant point culminates (is highest in the sky) before nightfall – at around 21:00 EDT – and so the shower is likely produce its best displays soon after dusk, when the radiant point is still as high as possible.

At this time, the Earth's rotation turns Fairfield to face optimally towards the direction of the incoming meteors, maximising the number that rain vertically downwards, producing short trails close to the radiant point. At other times, there will be fewer meteors burning up over Fairfield, and they will tend to enter the atmosphere at an oblique angle, producing long-lived meteors that may traverse a wide area of the sky before completely burning up.

The shower is expected to reach peak activity at around 18:00 EDT on 27 June 2019.

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Observing prospects

The shower will peak close to new moon, and so moonlight will present minimal interference.

The radiant of the shower

Meteor showers arise when the Earth passes through streams of debris left in the wake of comets and asteroids. Over time, these pieces of grit-like debris distribute themselves along the length of the parent object's orbit around the solar system.

Shooting stars are seen whenever one of these pieces of debris collides with the Earth, typically burning up at an altitude of around 70 to 100 km, upon impact with the upper atmosphere.

On certain days of the year, the Earth's orbit passes through particularly dense streams, associated with comets or asteroids which have vented particularly large amounts of solid material to space, and this gives rise to an annual meteor shower. The shower recurs on an annual basis, whenever the Earth passes the particular point in its orbit where it crosses the stream of material.

All of the meteors associated with any particular meteor shower appear to radiate outwards from a common point on the sky, which points back in the direction from which their orbital motion brought them.

This is because all the meteors are travelling in almost exactly the same direction when they cross the Earth's orbit, owing to having very similar orbits to the parent object they came from. They strike the Earth from almost exactly the same direction, and at the same speed.

By determining the position of this radiant point on the sky, it is possible to work out the orbit of the stream giving rise to any particular meteor shower. It is sometimes even be possible to identify the particular body responsible for creating the debris stream, if there is a known comet or asteroid with a very similar orbit.

The parent body responsible for creating the June Bootid shower is comet 7P/Pons-Winnecke.

The radiant of the June Bootid meteor shower is at around right ascension 14h50m, declination 48°N, as shown by the green circle on the planetarium above.

To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at around this distance from the radiant that the most meteors will be seen.

The sky on 27 June 2019
Twilight ends
Twilight begins

24-day old moon
Waning Crescent


24 days old

Rise Culm. Set
Mercury 07:23 14:40 21:57
Venus 04:28 11:58 19:28
Moon 02:02 08:27 14:52
Mars 07:02 14:28 21:53
Jupiter 18:53 23:33 04:17
Saturn 21:04 01:49 06:31
All times shown in EDT.


The International Meteor Organisation's List of Meteor Showers.

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