Abstract: A new shower has been detected by the Global Meteor Network during the time range in solar longitude 14.0–15.5 degrees with a radiant at R.A. = 275.68 deg, Decl. = +53.86 deg, within a circle with the standard deviation of ± 0.9 deg (equinox J2000.0). The shower has been listed as number 1106 in the IAU Working List of Meteor Showers and named the gamma Draconids (GAD).


1 Introduction

The Global Meteor Network was established in 2018 and is still in full expansion. Since its start, more than 200,000 accurate video meteor orbits have been collected. The goal of the GMN is to monitor meteor shower activity, activity enhancements, outbursts, new meteor shower appearances, and aid with meteorite recovery.

In its first years of existence, the GMN already confirmed some outbursts and enhanced shower activities (Roggemans, 2019; 2021; Roggemans et al., 2020a; 2020b; 2020c; Vida et al., 2018; Vida and Eschman, 2020). The better the coverage of the GMN becomes, the better the chances to detect new showers or unusual activity.

Here we report an outburst of a previously unknown meteor shower with a radiant in Draco. 12 shower meteors were observed by the Global Meteor Network on 2021 April 3–5. The shower was independently observed by cameras in 8 different countries.


2 New shower parameters

The meteors (ranging in magnitude from +2.5 to –3.0) had a median radiant near gamma Draconis (equinox J2000.0). All meteors appeared during the solar longitude interval 14.0–15.5 degrees, with no obvious peak in that interval. The shower is now listed as number 1106 in the IAU Working List of Meteor Showers and named the gamma Draconids (GAD). The meteor shower parameters and mean orbital elements are listed in Table 1.

The shower was seen by Global Meteor Network cameras in 8 countries, here are the station codes for each observed meteor:

  • HR0001, HR000T (Croatia);
  • RU000C, RU000F (Russia);
  • HR000T, HR001D (Croatia);
  • HR000U, SI0001 (Croatia, Slovenia);
  • US0001, US0004, US0007, US000A, US000D, US000K, US000L, US000R (USA);
  • ES0005, ES000E (Spain);
  • DE0002, DE0009 (Germany);
  • HR000K, HR000N (Croatia);
  • FR000F, NL0003 (France, the Netherlands);
  • HR000M, HR001G (Croatia);
  • USL002, USL006, USL00L (USA);
  • US0006, US000J, US000L (USA).

Table 1 – Mean parameters and orbital elements (equinox J2000.0) computed using the method of Jopek et al. 2006.

  Mean value
λʘ (°) 15.04
αg (°) 275.68 ± 0.9
δg (°) +53.86 ± 0.9
vg (km/s) 35.98 ± 1.8
λ-λʘ (°) 270.47
β (°) +76.94
a (AU) 8.3
q (AU) 0.998 ± 0.00032
e 0.880 ± 0.110
ω (°) 178.316 ± 1.11
Ω (°) 14.85 ± 0.529
i (°) 57.965 ± 1.955
Π (°) 193.17 ± 1.2
Q (AU) 15.6
Tj 1.26
P (y) 24.0
N 12


Figure 1 – The Sun-centered geocentric ecliptic coordinates for the time bin 11.2° < λʘ < 15.63°. The new shower is indicated with a red arrow.


Table 2 – The results of the parent body search with the top 5 matched sorted on the Southworth and Hawkins discrimination criterion DSH (Southworth and Hawkins, 1963).

Name q e i ω Ω DSH
C/1953 T1 (Abell) 0.97 1.001 53.23 194.382 3.031 0.273
C/1918 L1 (Reid) 1.102 1 69.71 194.906 18.838 0.401
2009 FA 1.159 0.557 42.1 200.6 3.2 0.514
C/1845 D1 (de Vico) 1.255 1 56.4 205.452 349.281 0.515
2020 WT3 0.679 0.55 58.7 167.1 33 0.533


Figure 2 – The plot of the radiant in Sun-centered geocentric ecliptic coordinates.


Figure 1 shows the Sun-centered geocentric ecliptic coordinates for the time bin 11.2° < λʘ <  15.63°. Figure 2 shows the detailed plot of the radiant in Sun-centered geocentric ecliptic coordinates.

The parent body search didn’t return any viable candidates. The best matches are listed in Table 2 but none of them is likely to be the parent body. The Tisserand value relative to Jupiter with a value of 1.26 indicates that the orbit is a prograde Halley-type comet orbit. The parent body may still remain to be discovered.



The Global Meteor Network is released under the CC BY 4.0 license. The authors thank all the volunteers who contribute to the Global Meteor Network.



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