The Orionid Meteor Shower Observed Over 70 Years


Visual Orionid meteor data dating back to 1944 were transformed into the standard format of the Visual Meteor Data Base (VMDB) of the International Meteor Organization (IMO) for systematic analysis. The strong 2006 Orionid return with a very low population index (r = 1.6) and a peak ZHR of 60 (about 2.5 of the average peak strength) resembled meteor showers connected with the returns of resonant meteoroids. An investigation of data dating back to 1928 yielded similar rate enhancements in 1936, further supporting the assumption that meteoroids trapped in the 1:6 resonance with Jupiter caused the unusual 2006 Orionid return.

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We thank all observers for sending their data to the IMO’s VMDB. Most of the 2006 data input was performed by Rainer Arlt with the assistance of Javor Kac. Pierre Bader, Frank Enzlein, Ulrich Sperberg and Roland Winkler made substantial additions, especially of the older data. David Asher of Armagh gave very useful comments on the role of stream meteoroids in resonant orbits. Thanks also to Peter Jenniskens, Robert Hawkes and Frans Rietmeijer for useful comments during the referee process.

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Correspondence to Jürgen Rendtel.

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Rendtel, J. The Orionid Meteor Shower Observed Over 70 Years. Earth Moon Planet 102, 103–110 (2008).

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  • Meteors
  • Meteor showers
  • Orionids
  • Outburst
  • Resonant meteoroids