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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

What are meteors?

What are meteors?

Meteors come from streams of particles that travel around the sun in defined orbits, that cross the orbit of the earth at some point. As the earth revolves around the sun, it encounters different streams at the same point in its orbit. When the earth passes through the orbit of the stream, it scoops into its atmosphere some of the particles, and that makes a meteor shower.

Although only about ten meteor showers are well known and produce meteor showers worth watching, dozens of different showers have been identified. The meteors’ location among the stars gives a shower its name. For example, meteors of the Leonid showers appear to radiate from a region in Leo; the August Perseids from a region in Perseus, and so on.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.