You can see a large number of meteor showers in 2019. Meteor showers occur when a passing comet leaves a trail of debris. Comets are bodies in the solar system that leave behind rock and ice as they travel.
As earth passes close, debris left behind from past visits of comets enters the atmosphere of the earth and create a meteor shower display. They occur are streaks of bright lights and distant fireworks displays.
Meteors are known to appear at any time in the night in any part of the sky. A dark moonless night might witness half a dozen meteors per hour. However, a good meteor shower may show as many as 1-2 meteors per minute.
To have the finest viewing experience, find yourself a location devoid of pollution or bright lights. Stay seated on a reclining chair with comfy clothes accustomed to the weather and dark light conditions.
Viewing a meteor shower with naked eyes is a visual delight when compared to using binoculars or a telescope. But be warned that the spectacle may be ruined by moonlight and overcast weather.
The International Meteor Organization lists a variety of meteor showers that are likely to be witnessed in the sky in 2019.
Under excellent sky conditions, the ‘Quads’ can deliver up to one meteor per minute. Compared with their contemporaries, they are unusual and known to originate from an asteroid. The Quadrantid radiant lies in the northern constellation due to which the citizens of northern Europe and Canada can watch them at any given time in the night. They are active between December 28th and January 12th and reach maximum on the 4th or 5th day of January.
The Lyrids will make a brief appearance on the sky between April 19th and May 18th. They originate from comet Thatcher which revolves around the sun every 415 years. The shower count ranges from five to twenty meteors per hour. The oldest known outburst was recorded at Zuo Zhuan in 687 BC.
Eta Aquariids derive their name from the constellation Aquarius. The shower count is recorded to be at a rate of one meteor per minute. They are rarely seen due to the low altitude of the radiant. They are visible from April 19th to May 28th with peak activity on May 5th.
The Perseids meteor shower is associated with comet Swift-Turtle. The radiants are called Perseids because they originate from the constellation Perseus. They can be seen from all parts of the sky but primarily visible in the Northern Hemisphere. These will be active between July 17th and August 26th, it peaks around August 12th or 13th.
The Taurid meteor showers are associated with the comet Encke. They are further subdivided into Northern and Southern Taurids. The radiant point named after the Taurus constellation, occur during late October and early November. The Halloween of 2005 witnessed an unfortunate event. It was reported that many people’s vision was affected due to continuous viewing. Because of this, they are also nicknamed as ‘Halloween Fireballs’.
The Orionids are the most prominent meteor showers associated with Halley’s Comet. The shower count is recorded at a rate of fifty to seventy per hour. The radiant is located between the constellations Orion and Gemini. As this celestial event happens once in 76 years, this might be the only one in your life as the next one will occur in the year 2061. This meteor shower will be active between October 2nd and November 7th and peak around October 21-22.