IAU Meteor Data Center
The Meteor Data Center (MDC) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) provides
  • a database of all meteor showers (SD), the discovery of which has been published1;
  • a database of meteoroid orbits (MO) and other parameters about the individual meteors.

1The MDC SD team accepts meteor showers published in all peer-reviewed scientific journals in the field of Astronomy, as well as in the two journals dedicated to amateur meteor astronomy: WGN, the Journal of the IMO, and eMeteorNews.

The IAU MDC is not a publication forum. The data collected in the MDC are published elsewhere. The MO MDC provides a service to collect the data in a single site so that is more easily accessible. The SD MDC serves as a central list of all meteor showers that have unique names, which is necessary in order to avoid any confusion in the literature on meteor showers.

The MDC is not an authority to decide: about the reality or duplicity of the reported discovery of a new shower; about the sufficient quality of the observations; and about the correctness of the orbit determination of new meteors. Both the SD team and the MO team welcome reports about the publication of new data from their author(s).
The meteor showers stored in the MDC SD have been grouped into five lists:
  1. List of all Showers (the total number of showers registered in the database, except for those which have been removed)
  2. List of Established showers (well-confirmed showers whose names have been officially approved during the General Assembly (GA) of the IAU)
  3. Working List (showers that have been submitted to the MDC and do not meet the criteria for established status)
  4. List of Shower Groups (meteor shower complexes)
  5. List of Removed Showers (shower that have been removed from the Working List for any of the reasons stated in the criteria for removing showers)
The SD team collaborates with the IAU Commission F1 (Meteors, Meteorites and Interplanetary Dust) and its Working Group (WG) on Meteor Shower Nomenclature. The WG aproves the showers nominated to be established, which can then receive official names during the next IAU GA.

A shower is occasionally published by two or more author teams under two or more names. Such duplicates can be suggested for removal by anyone by publishing a paper. In such a case, only a single (typically the first given) name is retained. The parameters published by the other author team(s) are moved to this retained shower as a further data set of the shower.

The SD increases not only by including the newly discovered showers, but also with the new determinations of the parameters of already known showers (using, e.g., a new data set). The new shower characteristics are added to the SD as a further data set of the shower. The more data sets of a shower, the better is the shower characterized, which helps to its possible nomination for the established status.
The IAU MDC orbital database (also known as the Lund Database in the past) is a collection of the orbital and geocentric characteristics of multistation meteors. Again, only the published orbits are included in the database. Naturally, it would be impossible, at present, to publish the data about hundreds of thousands of meteors each year. Therefore, a set of meteors is regarded as published if it is accessible on a website and a description of the observational facility and the method of orbit determination has been published.
The IAU MDC was established at the General Assembly of the IAU in 1982 to compile orbital data of meteors. Its establishment was proposed by Bertil A. Lindblad from the Lund Observatory, Sweden.

Lindblad collected a large number of the published orbits of meteors detected by the photographical technique. In this way, 41 catalogs from several observational stations/networks were included in the IAU MDC database.

At the beginning of the 1990, the MDC team was enlarged. Vladimir Porubcan, Jan Svoren, and Lubos Neslusan, all from the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences (AsI SAS), started to collaborate with Bertil Lindblad.

In 2001, at the "Meteoroids conference" in Kiruna, Lindblad officialy handed the Database over to Porubcan; the MDC moved from the Lund Observatory to the AsI SAS, Slovakia. After this, the MDC was administrated by Porubcan, Svoren, and Neslusan.

In 2007, Tadeusz J. Jopek from the Astronomical Observatory Institute of Adam Mickiewicz University (AIO AMU) in PoznaƄ, Poland, created a new section of the IAU MDC that deals with the list of meteor showers, their nomenclature and registration. This took place in cooperation with the newly formed IAU Working Group on Meteor Shower Nomenclature. Two years later, the first 64 meteor showers were officially named by the IAU during its XXVIIth General Assembly. Until the end of 2021, there were 112 established meteor showers in the database.

Since 2007, the IAU MDC has consisted of two sections, which deal with (1) the orbits of individual meteors and (2) the list of showers and their mean characteristics. Each section is maintained by an autonomous team.

The team maintaining the MO part changed during the "Meteoroids 2019" conference. It now consists of Lubos Neslusan, Jan Svoren, and Marian Jakubik. They are all affiliated to the AsI SAS in Tatranska Lomnica, Slovakia.

The SD was maintained by Tadeusz J. Jopek, together with Zuzana Kanuchova (AsI SAS, Slovakia) and Regina Rudawska, for 15 years. Since 2021, the care of the SD has been taken on by Regina Rudawska (RHEA group/ESA ESTEC, The Netherland) and Maria Hajdukova (AsI SAS, Bratislava dept., Slovakia).

Shower Database


Orbital Database