You can now buy the recently released book, Fall of a Thousand Suns: How Near Misses and Comet Impacts affected the Religious Beliefs of our Ancestors. It is available through iBooks and Amazon.
This website only lists information on modern-day comets and meteor showers. The book, however, thoroughly investigates how specific ancient impacts and near misses changed religious beliefs around the world.
Virginid Meteor Shower
The Discovery of the Virginid Meteor Shower
There are several meteor showers that make up the Virginid Meteor Complex. They are Alpha Virginids, Gamma Virginids, Eta Virginids, Theta Virginids, Iota Virginids, Lambda Virginids, Mu Virginids, Pi Virginids, and Psi Virginids, and March Virginids. These showers last from January to May. Most peak in March or April.
The Alpha Virginids, which is the strongest of all the Virginid meteor showers, was first detected over the course of one week in April of 1895 by A.S. Herschel.
- Discovery of Virginid Meteor Shower
- The parent body of the Virginid Meteor Shower
- When are the Virginids visible?
The Parent Body of the Virginid Meteor Complex
The parent body of the Virginids is unknown.
It has been suggested that all meteor showers in the Virginid Complex were created by one parent body, and that, in time, the debris field dispersed due to the gravity of seven planets (E. I. Kazimirchak-Polonskaya and A. K. Terent'eva, 1973).
Comet D/1766 G1's (Helfenzrieder) orbit from 1937-1956 could make it the parent object for some meteors in the Virginid Meteor complex, while others could be the result of 1999 RM45, 1998 SH2, 2002 GM5, 1996 AJ1, or 1998 HJ3 (Petrus Matheus Marie Jenniskens, 2008).
When are the Virginids visible?
The Virginids happen between January and May each year. They appear to radiate from Leo in January and February. However, the radiant gradually moves each night toward Virgo, which it reaches in May.
Radiant of the Virginid Meteor Shower(s) in mid-May.
Credit: Stellarium with radiant by Kevin Curran