2016 Meteor Shower List

The 2016 Meteor Shower List is presented in four separate parts. The showers are broken down by intensity with major, minor, variable, and weak showers being separated into their own groups. The general public and news agencies are encouraged to only use the list of major showers as they are the most well known and provide the most activity on a year to year basis. The other showers rarely surpass ten meteors per hour at maximum and are difficult to observe unless you are an experienced observer viewing from a rural location.

2016 Major Meteor Showers (Class I)

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity r Max. Time Moon
Date S. L. R.A. Dec. km/s ZHR
Quadrantids (QUA) Dec 30-Jan 12 Jan 04 283.16° 15:24 +48.7° 40.9 2.1 120 0500 23
Lyrids (LYR) Apr 18-Apr 25 Apr 22 032.5° 18:10 +33.2° 45.5 2.1 18 0400 14
Eta Aquariids (ETA) Apr 24-May 19 May 07 046.8° 22:36 -00.5° 66.5 2.4 40 0400 01
Delta Aquariids (SDA) Jul 21-Aug 23 Jul 28 128.0° 22:42 -16.4° 42.0 3.2 16 0300 23
Perseids (PER) Jul 13-Aug 26 Aug 12 140.0° 03:12 +57.6° 60.5 2.2 100 0400 09
Orionids (ORI) Aug 25-Nov 19 Oct 22 208.9° 06:24 +15.5° 67.1 2.5 15 0500 21
Leonids (LEO) Nov 05-Dec 03 Nov 18 236.1° 10:17 +21.5° 69.7 2.5 15 0500 18
Geminids (GEM) Nov 30-Dec 17 Dec 13 261°5 07:33 +32.4° 33.7 2.6 120 0100 13
Ursids (URS) Dec 17-Dec 24 Dec 22 270°7 14:30 +74.8° 32.6 3.0 10 0500 01

Information and Table Template Courtesy the International Meteor Organization.

The meteor showers listed above are the easiest to observe and provide the most activity. Particular attention should be noted to the time and moonlight conditions. All these showers are best seen after midnight. Some are not even visible until after midnight. Showers that peak with the moon’s age between 10 and 20 days will be affected by moonlight and difficult to observe this year. While the time each shower is best seen remains much the same year after year, the moonlight conditions change considerably from one year to the next. We will post upcoming details of each major shower that is free from moonlight well in advance of their peak activity.

2016 Minor Meteor Showers (Class II)

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity r Max. Time Moon
Date S. L. R.A. Dec. km/s ZHR
Antihelion Source (ANT) Dec 10-Sep 10 30.0 3.0 4 0100
Alpha Centaurids (ACE) Jan 28-Feb 21 Feb 08 319°2 14:00 -59.0° 56.0 2.0 6 0500 28
Eta Lyrids (ELY) May 05-May 12 May 10 050° 19:24 +43.2° 43.4 3.0 3 0400 04
Alpha Capricornids (CAP) Jul 06-Aug 10 Jul 26 127° 20:18 -10.5° 21.8 2.5 5 0100 03
Kappa Cygnids (KCG) Aug 06-Aug 31 Aug 17 145° 18:30 +58.0° 22.7 3.0 3 2300 14
Aurigids (AUR) Aug 29-Sep 04 Aug 31 158°6 06:02 +39.3° 66.7 2.5 6 0400 27
September Epsilon Perseids (SPE) Sep 05-Sep 28 Sep 09 167° 03:12 +39.6° 64.5 3.0 5 0500 07
Southern Taurids (STA) Sep 07-Nov 19 Oct 10 197° 02:06 +08.7° 28.9 2.3 5 0200 08
Epsilon Geminids (EGE) Sep 29-Nov 02 Oct 22 209° 06:58 +27.6° 69.6 3.0 3 0500 21
Leonis Minorids (LMI) Oct 17-Oct 27 Oct 22 209° 10:40 +36.7° 59.9 3.0 2 0500 21
Northern Taurids (NTA) Oct 25-Dec 04 Nov 11 229° 03:54 +22.4° 27.1 2.3 5 0000 11
November Orionids (NOO) Nov 13-Dec 07 Nov 28 247° 06:02 +15.5° 43.7 3.0 3 0400 28
Sigma Hydrids (HYD) Nov 24-Dec 21 Dec 06 254° 08:16 +02.7° 60.7 3.0 3 0300 06
Puppid/Velids (PUP) Dec 01-Dec 15 Dec 07 255° 08:12 -45.0° 40.0 2.9 10 0400 07
Monocerotids (MON) Nov 27-Dec 17 Dec 09 257° 06:40 +08.3° 40.5 3.0 2 0100 09
Dec. Leonis Minorids (DLM) Dec 06-Jan 18 Dec 20 269° 10:50 +30.0° 63.1 3.0 5 0500 20
Coma Berenicids (COM) Dec 24-Jan 03 Dec 31 280° 12:22 +11.7° 69.7 3.0 5 0500 02

Information and Table Template Courtesy the International Meteor Organization.

The meteor showers listed above range from two to ten shower members per hour at maximum activity. These meteors can be detected by experienced observers but novice observers and the general public will have difficultly distinguishing these meteors from the major showers or sporadic (random) meteors.

2016 Variable Meteor Showers (Class III)

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity r Max. Time Moon
Date S. L. R.A. Dec. km/s ZHR
Pi Puppids (PPU) Apr 15-Apr 28 Apr 23 033.5° 07:20 -45.0° 18 2.0 var 1900 15
June Bootids (JBO) Jun 23- Jun 25 Jun 23 092.5° 14:58 +48° 13 2.2 var 2100 17
Draconids (GIA) Oct 06-Oct 10 Oct 09 196.0° 17:28 +56° 19 2.6 var 1800 07
Andromedids (AND) Oct 26-Nov 20 Nov 08 226.0° 01:31 +29.4° 15.9 2.5 var 2200 08
Alpha Monocerotids (AMO) Nov 21-Nov 23 Nov 21 239°32 07:52 +01° 68 2.4 var 0300 21
Dec Phoenicids (PHO) Nov 28-Dec 09 Dec 06 254°25 01:12 -53° 18 2.8 var 2000 06

Information and Table Template Courtesy the International Meteor Organization.

The meteor showers listed above produce strong activity on rare occasions. Most of the time only a few scattered remnants of these showers are observed with rates of one shower member per night. Note that most of these showers are best seen during the evening hours, a situation quite opposite most meteor showers.

2016 Weak Meteor Showers (Class IV)

Shower Activity Period Maximum Radiant Velocity Max. Time Moon
Date S. L. R.A. Dec. km/s ZHR
January Leonids (JLE) Dec 30-Jan 05 Jan 02 281.0° 09:46 +24.3° 59.4 <2 0300 21
x Coronae Borealids Jan 11-Jan 18 Jan 15 295.0° 16:36 +30.0° 49.0 <2 0500 06
Canum Venaticids (CVN) Jan 13-Jan 18 Jan 15 295.0° 14:00 +38.0° 56.0 <2 0500 06
Lambda Bootids (LBO) Jan 17-Jan 18 Jan 17 297.0° 14:48 +45.0° 41.0 <2 0500 08
January Xi Ursae Majorids (XUM) Jan 16-Jan 20 Jan 18 298.0° 11:16 +33.0° 44.0 <2 0300 09
Nu Bootids (NBO) Jan 16-Jan 20 Jan 18 298.0° 13:44 +13.0° 67.0 <2 0500 09
Gamma Ursae Minorids (GUM) Jan 18-Jan 24 Jan 20 300.0° 15:12 +67.0° 30.0 <2 0500 11
Eta Corvids (ECV) Jan 18-Jan 26 Jan 23 303.0° 12:56 -17.0° 69.0 <2 0500 14
January Comae Berenicids (JCO) Jan 21-Jan 27 Jan 24 304.0° 12:52 +15.0° 65.0 <2 0500 15
Alpha Coronae Borealids (ACB) Jan 27-Feb 05 Jan 28 308.0° 15:24 +26.0° 57.0 <2 0500 19
February Eta Draconids (FED) Feb 03-Feb 06 Feb 04 315.0° 15:59 +61.0° 32.0 <2 0500 24
February Epsilon Virginids (FEV) Jan 29-Feb 09 Feb 04 315.0° 13:24 +11.0° 64.0 <2 0500 24
Pi Hydrids(PIH) Feb 04-Feb 15 Feb 07 318.0° 14:00 -21.0° 55.3 <2 0500 27
Omega Centaurids (OCA) Feb 12-Feb 16 Feb 14 325.0° 13:16 -55.0° 48.0 <2 0500 06
Theta Centaurids (TCN) Feb 12-Feb 16 Feb 14 325.0° 13:56 -29.0° 65.0 <2 0500 06
Beta Herculids (BHE) Feb 13-Feb 16 Feb 14 325.0° 16:24 +25.0° 53.0 <2 0500 06
February Mu Virginids (FMV) Feb 16-Mar 04 Feb 26 337.0° 16:12 -02.0° 62.0 <2 0500 18
Xi Herculids (XHE) Mar 10-Mar 15 Mar 12 352.0° 17:04 +48.5° 35.0 <2 0500 04
Gamma Normids (GNO) Mar 23-Mar 28 Mar 24 004.0° 16:24 -51.0° 68.0 <2 0500 15
Zeta Cygnids (ZCY) Apr 03-Apr 10 Apr 05 016.0° 20:08 +40.0° 40.0 <2 0400 27
Delta Aquiliids (DAL) Apr 07-Apr 13 Apr 09 020.0° 20:32 +12.0° 63.0 <2 0400 02
Sigma Leonids A (SLE) Apr 08-Apr 25 Apr 15 026.0° 13:24 +03.0° 19.0 <2 0100 08
April Rho Cygnids (AEC) Apr 11-May 04 Apr 22 033.0° 20:56 +44.5° 42.0 <2 0400 14
H Virginids (HVI) Apr 29-May 03 May 01 041.0° 13:40 -11.0° 17.0 <2 0400 22
Gamma Aquiliids (GAQ) May 05-May 12 May 08 048.0° 20:28 +14.5° 66.0 <2 0100 02
Theta 2 Sagittariids (TTS) May 09-May 14 May 13 053.0° 20:04 -33.0° 67.0 <2 0100 07
May Beta Capricornids (MBC) May 16-May 21 May 19 059.0° 20:20 -15.0° 68.0 <2 0100 12
June Mu Cassiopeiids (JMC) May 31-Jun 05 Jun 01 071.0° 00:44 +53.0° 42.0 <2 0400 24
Daytime Arietids (ARI) May 14-Jun 24 Jun 07 076.7° 02:56 +23.5° 42.0 <2 0400 02
June Rho Cygnids (JRC) Jun 14-Jun 16 Jun 14 084.0° 21:22 +44.7° 48.0 <2 0000 09
Northern June Aquilids (NZC) Jun 10-Jun 26 Jun 16 086.0° 19:53 -10.0° 41.0 <2 0400 11
Delta Piscids (DPI) Jun 20-Jun 26 Jun 23 092.0° 00:44 +05.0° 69.0 <2 0400 17
June Iota Pegasids (JIP) Jun 24-Jun 26 Jun 24 093.5° 22:06 +29.0° 59.0 <2 0400 18
Sigma Capricornids (SCA) Jun 19-Jul 24 Jun 27 096.0° 20:25 -07.0° 41.0 <2 0400 21
F Ophiuchids (FOP) Jun 29-Jul 01 Jun 29 098.0° 17:40 +07.5° 17.0 <2 0400 23
Pi Piscids (PPS) Jun 11-Jul 25 Jul 01 101.0° 01:00 +25.0° 67.6 <2 0400 26
July Pegasids (JPE) Jun 30-Aug 03 Jul 10 108.0° 23:12 +11.0° 68.1 <2 0400 05
c-Andromedids (CAN) Jun 26-Jul 20 Jul 12 110.0° 02:10 +47.5° 60.1 <2 0400 07
Psi Cassiopeiids (PCA) Jul 12-Jul 18 Jul 16 114.0° 02:52 +70.0° 46.0 <2 0400 11
Tau Cetids (TCT) Jul 20-Jul 23 Jul 21 119.0° 01:52 -18.0° 65.0 <2 0400 16
July Gamma Draconids (GDR) Jul 25-Jul 29 Jul 27 125.0° 18:42 +50.5° 26.5 <2 0000 22
Eta Eridanids (ERI) Jul 31-Aug 17 Aug 05 133.0° 02:53 -12.3° 65.7 <2 0400 02
Beta Perseids (BPE) Jul 24-Aug 20 Aug 07 135.0° 02:57 +37.6° 67.0 <2 0400 04
Theta Piscids (TPI) Aug 08-Sep 01 Aug 19 147.0° 23:28 04.1° 39.0 <2 0400 16
August Gamma Cepheids (AGC) Aug 22-Sep 01 Aug 28 155.0° 00:04 +77.0° 41.0 <2 0400 24
September Lyncids (SLY) Sep 07-Sep 18 Sep 09 167.0° 06:22 +55.7° 59.7 <2 0500 07
September Iota Cassiopeiids (SIC) Sep 10-Sep 16 Sep 14 172.0° 03:04 +64.0° 55.0 <2 0300 12
September Pi Orionids (POR) Sep 16-Sep 20 Sep 18 176.0° 04:08 +06.0° 66.0 <2 0400 16
Beta Aurigids (BAU) Sep 21-Sep 25 Sep 22 180.0° 05:50 +48.0° 69.0 <2 0500 20
Delta Aurigids (DAU) Sep 23-Sep 29 Sep 26 184.0° 05:08 +57.5° 61.0 <2 0500 24
Sep-Oct Lyncids (SOL) Sep 27-Sep 30 Sep 28 186.0° 07:26 +47.0° 65.0 <2 0500 26
Daytime Sextantids (DSX) Sep 25-Oct 05 Sep 28 186.0° 10:16 -01.0° 33.0 <2 0500 26
October Camelopardalids (OCT) Oct 05-Oct 06 Oct 05 192.6° 11:12 +78.5° 44.0 <2 0500 03
Psi Aurigids (ZTA) Oct 09-Oct 16 Oct 13 200.0° 07:19 +43.0° 67.0 <2 0500 11
October Ursa Majorids (OCU) Oct 14-Oct 18 Oct 15 202.0° 09:36 +64.3° 52.4 <2 0500 13
Tau Cancrids (TCA) Oct 09-Oct 25 Oct 17 204.0° 08:57 +29.4° 67.8 <2 0500 15
Gamma Piscids (GPS) Oct 14-Oct 21 Oct 17 204.0° 01:10 +16.8° 20.8 <2 0500 15
October Lyncids (OLY) Oct 16-Oct 24 Oct 20 207.0° 07:24 +64.3° 63.0 <2 0500 18
Eta Taurids (ETT) Oct 15-Oct 29 Oct 24 211.0° 03:40 +23.0° 45.0 <2 0500 23
Lambda Ursa Majorids (LUM) Oct 24-Nov 01 Oct 27 214.0° 10:24 +48.9° 61.5 <2 0500 26
Southern Lambda Draconids (SLD) Oct 24-Nov 02 Oct 27 214.0° 11:24 +48.9° 62.5 <2 0500 26
Chi Taurids (CTA) Nov 04-Nov 08 Nov 05 223.0° 04:22 +25.0 46.0 <2 0500 05
Kappa Ursae Majorids (KUM) Nov 02-Nov 09 Nov 05 223.0° 09:44 +45.5° 62.0 <2 0500 05
Nov. Iota Draconids (NID) Nov 22-Dec 01 Nov 21 239.0° 12:40 +69.0° 41.0 <2 0500 21
Dec. Phi Cassiopeiids (DPC) Nov 26-Dec 05 Dec 01 249.0° 01:33 52.6° 13.9 <2 0500 01
December Kappa Draconids (KDR) Dec 02-Dec 06 Dec 03 251.0° 12:22 +70.4° 41.4 <2 0500 03
Psi Ursa Majorids (PSU) Dec 01-Dec 16 Dec 04 252.0° 11:16 +43.7° 60.5 <2 0500 04
Alpha Draconids A (DAD) Dec 05-Dec 18 Dec 07 255.0° 13:40 +60.1° 41.3 <2 0500 07
Eta Hydrids (EHY) Dec 10-Dec 18 Dec 12 260.0° 09:08 +01.5° 63.0 <2 0400 12
December Chi Virginids (XVI) Dec 08-Dec 24 Dec 16 265.0° 12:52 -11.2° 69.2 <2 0400 16
December Sigma Virginids (DSV) Dec 06-Dec 31 Dec 23 272.0° 13:55 +04.0° 68.2 <2 0500 23
c Velids (CVE) Dec 27-Dec 30 Dec 28 277.0° 09:20 -54.0° 39.0 <2 0500 28
Alpha Draconids B (DAD) Dec 26-Jan 01 Dec 29 278.0° 14:51 +53.5° 41.5 <2 0500 00
Alpha Hydrids (AHY) Dec 22-Jan 07 Dec 31 280.0° 08:24 -07.4° 43.0 <2 0100 02

Information and Table Template Courtesy the International Meteor Organization.

The meteor showers listed above rarely produce an average of more than two shower members per hour. In some cases these showers have been recently discovered by video means, being too weak for visual observers to pick out from the sporadic background. This list is being provided for the experienced observer in order to verify the activity of these weak showers. Good luck with your observations in 2016!

Explanation of the 2016 Meteor Shower Calendar

Shower:
named for the constellation or closest star within a constellation where the radiant is located at maximum activity.

Activity Period: the dates when the shower is active and the observer can expect activity from this source.

Maximum: the date on which the maximum activity is expected to occur.

S.L.: the equivalent solar longitude of the date of maximum activity. Solar longitude is measured in degrees (0-359) with 0 occurring at the exact moment of the spring equinox, 90 at the summer solstice, 180 at the autumnal equinox, and 270 at the winter solstice. Scientists use this time measurement as it is independent of the calendar.

Radiant: the area in the sky where shower meteors seem to appear from. This position is given in right ascension (celestial longitude) and declination (celestial latitude). The radiant must be near or above the horizon in order to witness activity from a particular shower.

Velocity: the velocity at which shower meteors strike the Earth’s atmosphere. The velocity depends on the angle meteoroids (meteors in space) intersect the Earth. Meteoroids orbiting in the opposite direction of the Earth and striking the atmosphere head-on are much faster than those orbiting in the same direction as the Earth. This velocity is measured in kilometers per second.

r: The Population Index, An estimate of the ratio of the number of meteors in subsequent magnitude classes. Simply stated: the lower the “r” value, the resulting overall mean magnitude of each shower will be brighter. “r” usually ranges from 2.0 (bright) to 3.5 (faint).

ZHR: Zenith Hourly Rate, the average maximum number of shower meteors visible per hour if the radiant is located exactly overhead and the limiting magnitude equals +6.5 (a very dark sky). Actual counts rarely reach this figure as the zenith angle of the radiant is usually less and the limiting magnitude is usually lower than +6.5. ZHR is a useful tool when comparing the actual observed rates between individual observers as it sets observing conditions for all to the same standards.

Time: this is the time of night when meteors from each shower are best seen. Quite often the radiant will culminate after sunrise therefore the last dark hour before dawn will be listed. Daylight Saving Time (Summer Time) is used from March through October. These figures are also highly dependent on the location of the observer. The time listed is most precise for id-northern latitudes of North America.

Moon: the age of the moon in days where 0 is new, 7 is first quarter, 14 is full, and 21 is last quarter. Meteor activity is best seen in the absence of moonlight so showers eaching maximum activity when the moon is less than 10 days old or more than 25 are much more avorably observed than those situated closer to the full moon.

Class: A scale developed by Robert Lunsford to group meteor showers by their intensity:

Class I: the strongest annual showers with ZHR’s normally ten or better.

Class II: reliable minor showers with ZHR’s normally two to ten.

Class III: showers that do not provide annual activity. These showers are rarely active yet have the potential to produce a major display on occasion.

Class IV: weak minor showers with ZHR’s rarely exceeding two. The study of these showers is best left to experienced observers who use plotting and angular velocity estimates to determine shower association. Observers with less experience are urged to limit their shower associations to showers with a rating of I to III. These stronger showers are also good targets for video and photographic work.