Alpha Capricornids

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Alpha Capricornids
Capricornus constellation map.svg
Celestial map of Capricornus
Discovery date 1871
Parent body Minor planet 2002 EX12
( = 169P/NEAT )
Occurs during 15 July to 10 August
See also: List of meteor showers

Alpha Capricornids is a meteor shower that takes place as early as 15 July and continues until around 10 August.[1] The meteor shower was discovered by Hungarian astronomer Miklos von Konkoly-Thege in 1871.This shower has infrequent but relatively bright meteors, with some fireballs. Parent body is comet 169P/NEAT.

Peter Jenniskens and Jeremie Vaubaillon identified the parent body as asteroid 2002 EX12, which in the return of 2005 was found weakly active near perihelion.[2] This object is now called comet 169P/NEAT.

According to Jenniskens and Vaubaillon, the meteor shower was created about 3,500 to 5,000 years ago, when about half of the parent body disintegrated and fell into dust.[2] The dust cloud evolved into Earth's orbit recently, causing a shower with peak rates of 2-5/h, sometimes having outbursts of bright flaring meteors with rates up to 5-9/h.

The bulk of the dust will not be in Earth's path until the 24th century. The Alpha Capricornids are expected to become a major annual storm in 22202420 A.D., one that will be "stronger than any current annual shower."[2]


  1. ^ "Alpha Capricornids: Encyclopedia Article". Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2014-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b c "Minor planet 2002 EX12 ( = 169P/NEAT) and the Alpha Capricornid shower". Astronomical Journal. Retrieved 2014-07-08. Minor planet 2002 EX12 ... is identified as the parent body of the alpha Capricornid shower, based on a good agreement in the calculated and observed direction and speed of the approaching meteoroids for ejecta 4500-5000 years ago....The bulk of this matter still passes inside Earth's orbit, but will cross Earth's orbit 300 years from now. As a result, the alpha Capricornids are expected to become a major annual shower in 2220-2420 A.D., stronger than any current annual shower