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Surprise New Year's Eve Meteor Shower

Surprise New Year's Eve Meteor Shower

Fireworks and Meteors
Credit: Danielle Futselaar

Many New Year's Eve firework displays were curtailed by COVID this year, but southern hemisphere observers could enjoy a meteor shower instead. Meteor astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute reports that the global meteor camera network CAMS detected an unusual meteor shower that peaked on New Year's Eve. Called the "Volantids", the meteors radiated from the constellation Volans, the flying fish. The shower was discovered in 2015 by the CAMS network in New Zealand, but had not been seen since. The return of the shower in 2020 was announced by Jenniskens in a telegram issued by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in the waning days of last year. On January 24, a second telegram was issued reporting on the observations. The shower this year behaved much like in 2015. The new shower was the most prominent meteor shower in CAMS data (on both hemispheres) from 2020 December 30 to 2020 January 1 (see those dates at the CAMS website 

Article on MeteorNews, announcing the shower in late 2020:

List of the 50 most recent telegrams to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams:


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