Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 95, Issue 1–4, pp 425–431 | Cite as


  • Apostolos A. ChristouEmail author


Based on the number of planet-approaching cometary orbits at Mars and Venus relative to the Earth, there should be ample opportunities for observing meteor activity at those two planets. The ratio of planet-approaching Jupiter family comets (JFCs) at Mars, Earth, and Venus is 4:2:1 indicating that JFC-related outbursts would be more frequent at Mars than the Earth. The relative numbers of planet-approaching Halley-type comets (HTCs) implies that the respective levels of annual meteor activity at those three planets are similar. We identify several instances where near-comet outbursts (Jenniskens, P.: 1995, Astron. Astrophys. 295, 206–235) may occur. A possible double outburst of this type at Venus related to 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Padjusakova may be observable by the ESA Venus Express spacecraft in the summer of 2006. Similarly, the Japanese Planet-C Venus orbiter may observe an outburst related to 27P/Crommelin’s perihelion passage in July 2011. Several additional opportunities exist to observe such outbursts at Mars from 2019 to 2026 associated with comets 38P/Stephan-Oterma, 13P/Olbers and 114P/Wiseman-Skiff.


Mars meteor outbursts meteor showers meteors Venus 


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The author wishes to thank David Asher for his comments on a draft version on the paper. Astronomical research at the Armagh Observatory is funded by the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Armagh ObservatoryCollege HillArmaghUK

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