Meteor showers from known long-period comets

Peter Jenniskens, Dante S. Lauretta, Martin C. Towner, Steve Heathcote, Steve Heathcote, Emmanuel Jehin, Toni Hanke, Tim Cooper, Jack W. Baggaley, J. Andreas Howell, Carl Johannink, Martin Breukers, Mohammad Odeh, Nicholas Moskovitz, Luke Juneau, Tim Beck, Marcelo De Cicco, Dave Samuels, Steve Rau, Jim Albers, Peter S. Gurals


Available online 20 April 2021



• Video meteoroid orbit surveys now have increased the number of known meteor showers with long-period comet parent bodies from 5 to 14.

• Showers are detected only if the comet orbit has an orbital period less than 4000 years and passes to within about 0.01 AU from Earth’s orbit.

• Long-period comet meteor showers are significantly dispersed in solar longitude, radiant, and speed.

• The change of longitude of perihelion with solar longitude is a strong function of inclination.

• More dispersed (older) meteor showers show a steeper magnitude distrubution index.”

“What long-period comets with orbital periods >250 years cause detectable meteor showers on Earth? Low-light video cameras are used to track the motion of +4 to −5 magnitude meteors in our atmosphere by triangulation and calculate the meteoroid orbit in space. In recent years, the CAMS (Cameras for Allsky Meteor Surveillance) low-light video camera network was greatly expanded and, together with other video networks, now has increased the total video meteoroid orbit database to over 2.2 million orbits. Here, we searched this database for meteor showers associated with known long-period comets. Previously, five associations were known. Now, we find 14, as well as six uncertain but likely associations. These showers show a change of longitude of perihelion with node that is a strong function of inclination. Showers of longer duration show a steeper magnitude distribution index, presumably due to aging of the meteoroid population. Showers are generally detected only if the orbital period of the comet is less than 4000 years and the Earth-Comet orbital miss distance is ≤0.10 AU. The lack of an associated meteor shower sets lower limits on the orbital period of poorly observed comets.”