Rare Meteor Shower May Grace Skies This Week


Skywatchers are crossing their fingers that, early this Tuesday morning, they may witness a brief outburst of a dormant meteor shower that has not been seen in over eight decades.

If astronomers' predictions hold true, the Gamma Delphinids may undergo a rare outburst that could even equal the famed August Perseids—with rates of meteors reaching as high as one or two shooting stars per minute.

The Gamma Dephinids were first discovered on the evening of June 10, 1930, when two astronomers from Baltimore, Maryland, noticed that despite the glare of a full moon, a fast and furious flurry of shooting stars was radiating out from a previously unrecorded spot in the sky. Most of the meteors were reported to be as bright as the brightest stars in the sky, making them quite spectacular. (Related: "Perseid Pictures: Meteor Shower Dazzles Every August.")

"Starting at 9:15 p.m. EST, they started seeing meteors pouring out of the small constellation Delphinus (the dolphin). The meteors had short trails and brief duration and were yellowish white," says Peter Jenniskens, co-author of a 2003 study that predicted a new outburst might take place this year.


Written By: Andrew Fazekas
continue to source article at news.nationalgeographic.com


  1. The predicted peak time is 8:28 UT (1:28 a.m. PDT, 4:28 a.m. EDT) on the morning of Tuesday, June 11, favoring observers who live in the Americas and the Pacific as far as the Hawaiian Islands.

  2. “If astronomers’ predictions hold true” s implication that this might not happen?

  3. In reply to #3 by Jos Gibbons:

    “If astronomers’ predictions hold true” s implication that this might not happen?

    One would think that they should be able to predict this fairly precisely. No?

  4. In reply to #2 by QuestioningKat:

    Ugh, 4:30am! Can’t they schedule these events at a more convenient time?

    Yeah…. I missed it anyway. As much as I’d like to witness it with my own eyes, I think I’ll just watch the video on youtube (as usual).

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