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When it finally gets answered, answers to How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit? will help us understand why the radiant points of meteor showers tend to be closer to east than west after sunset and before midnight, but some comet orbits could potentially produce meteor showers who's radiants could be near the zenith at sunset and set in the west around midnight.

Question: What meteor shower has the radiant that appears furthest west after sunset? What is it about the associated comet's orbit that makes this so?

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  • $\begingroup$ Not an answer yet: the slower the comet (at earth orbit), the more West the meteors appear (think of driving through rain: the faster you go, the more you become wet from the front). Yet in your question is strange. "After sunset" is variable and the answer will vary from day to day - depending on what is visible. You actually seem to want to ask about the "apparent shift of radiant". $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Aug 15 '20 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @planetmaker my question is well-enough posed and I'm familliar with the orbital mechanics. What's needed to answer this question is not a tutorial on the geometry, but an investigation of a table of meteor showers and a comparison of the radiant's RA to the Earth's position around the ecliptic relative to the September equinox. If one can demonstrate that the answer depends on latitude; i.e. different showers answer the question for different latitudes, I'll award fictitious "bonus points" :-) $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 15 '20 at 7:31
  • $\begingroup$ effectively you are thus asking for a table of orbital speeds of comet when crossing Earth orbit. But then you should ask that, if you are not interested in a geometric explanation. $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Aug 15 '20 at 7:46
  • $\begingroup$ And I maintaint that you are effectively asking about 'radiant shift'. Asking about the west most raidiant is like asking about the west most star. That makes only sense for a very particular time. And changes every minute. $\endgroup$ – planetmaker Aug 15 '20 at 7:50
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    $\begingroup$ I think the Geminids are the shower to beat. $\endgroup$ – Mike G Aug 15 '20 at 13:23

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