Universe Guide

Alpha Scorpiids Meteor Shower

When and where does the Alpha Scorpiids Meteor Shower Occur

The Alpha Scorpiids  meteor shower takes place within the boundaries constellation of Scorpius. The meteor shower occurs between 21 Apr- 26 May with the peak occurring on the 15-May every year.

The Solar Longitude (Abbrev: S.L., λ ☉) is 55.2 degrees, this value is the the date of maximum activity. It is measured as a degree with zero degree indicating spring equinox (roughly March 21st/22nd). 90 is the Summer Solstice, 180 is the Autumn Equinox and 270 is the Winter Solstice. This degree is independent of the calender. AMS .

The closest star to the radiant point of the meteor shower is Antares. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (240.7) and the Declination (-22.1).

Zenith Hourly Rate

The Zenith Hourly Rate or how many you expect to see during the hour is 3. The ZHR can radically increase if the comet or associated object is close by. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 35 km/s.

Alpha Scorpiids can sometimes be misspelt as Alpha-Scorpids with just one i in the second name. It is definitely two i's because if you look up Antares, it is noted as being Alpha Scorpii from what the meteor shower gets its name from.

It is a faint and small meteor shower and if you plan to spend much time watching for them, you'll probably be disappointed as they only appear three every hour. If you do decide to look out for them, good luck.

The source of the meteor shower is an asteroid whose journey take in towards the Sun then out towards Jupiter before coming back in again before actually reaching the gas giant. The picture below was generated using N.A.S.A. page and shows the path.

Diagram showing the path of 2004 BZ74 asteroid

When and How to view the Alpha Scorpiids

You'd think that with a name like 'Alpha Scorpiids', the meteor shower would be within the boundaries of the Scorpius constellation, right? Stellarium puts the actual meteor shower inside the nearby constellation of Ophiuchus. Antares is the nearest star to the meteor shower though. If you look towards Antares you shouldn't have too much difficulty in spotting the meteors.

The constellation is primarily a southern hemisphere constellation, the more north you are, the harder it is going to be to see it. The head of the constellation is visible in the northern hemisphere (London). The meteor shower is best viewed between the hours of eleven and four a.m. The meteor shower is quite low on the horizon.

Those in the southern hemisphere will get to see the meteor shower better as it is visible from 8 p.m. until just before 7 a.m. the next day. The constellation reaches higher into the sky than it does in the northern hemisphere.

Related Meteor Showers :-

Recent and Forthcoming Meteor Showers :-

Alpha Scorpiids Meteor Shower Facts

Associated Asteroid2004 BZ74?
Closest Star to Radiant PointAntares
Peak Activity Date15-May
Activity Period21 Apr- 26 May
Right Ascension240.7
Solar Longitude / λ ☉55.2 °
Zenith Hourly Rate3
Semi-Major Axis2.1500

Location of the Radiant Point for the Alpha Scorpiids Meteor Shower

Map showing the location of where the Alpha Scorpiids radiate from within Scorpius

The image showing the location of Alpha Scorpiids was generated using the free application Night Vision.

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