Perfect Time for Fireballs
On any night, you can perceive a few meteors touching the ground, but the best time to have a watch is during the peak of any annual meteor shower. During that time, Earth crosses through a dense portion of the comet’s debris path. Such an event takes place at predictable times every year. If you check it from the Earth’s surface, the meteors in these annual showers appear to be radiating from some particular points in the sky. So, most of these showers are named after the constellation from where they seem to fall. For example, you have the Perseid meteor shower, which takes place every year in August. This meteor shower got its name from the Perseus constellation, which is named for a mythical hero.
Each major shower has various peak rates when its shooting stars will fall. For example, you have Lyrids in April, when you can see around 10 to 20 meteors on an hourly scale. Then in the month of December, you get to see the Geminids, which will deliver as many as around 60 to 70 meteors every hour! However, comet debris streams are not entirely uniform and some of the usually weak ones are known to produce occasional outbursts of around 1000 meteors every hour. Then you have others punctuating the night sky with bright fireballs. Different annual showers will see the meteors falling at various speeds, which affects the lasting time of the streaks.