For a given shower the rate hitting the Earth's atmosphere versus time is usually a peak with a width of a few days, though there are some exceptional unicors.

Is there a place where I can view this envelope?

The context here would be to have some idea for a given year of a given shower how much less intense it would be one, two, or three days before or after maximum. I'm not looking for something precise or location dependent, but just to get an idea how critical it is seeing it on the "best" night versus a more opportune night.

Is there some place to go to see some predictions of many of these envelopes in order to look up a given one, or to see which ones are narrow and which ones are wide?

  • $\begingroup$ How long in advance do you want these predictions? Most of the space/science sites and magazines publish pretty solid predictions in the week or so prior to the event. Trace back from there to find the models -- comet trails don't change a whole lot year to year. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jan 3 '20 at 15:03

The International Meteor Organization publishes an annual Meteor Shower Calendar. The PDF document for 2020 predicts a Quadrantid peak on January 4, 08:20 UT, and says:

The peak is short-lived with an average duration (full width at half-maximum, FWHM – that is the period with ZHR above half of the peak level) of about four hours.

Unfortunately it only gives peak durations for a few showers.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, that's definitely the one I wanted to look up at the moment, but alas the FWHM appears only once in that PDF. I'm still looking for "some place to go to see some predictions of many of these envelopes" $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jan 3 '20 at 18:30

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