Roberto Gorelli points our attention at a recently published meteor related paper.

Orbital dynamics of highly probable but rare Orionid outbursts possibly observed by the ancient Maya

This paper has been submitted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society by J. H. Kinsman and D. J. Asher.

Abstract: Using orbital integrations of particles ejected from Comet Halley’s passages between 1404 BC and 240 BC, the authors investigate possible outbursts of the Orionids (twin shower of the Eta Aquariids) that may have been observed in the western hemisphere. In an earlier orbital integration study the authors determined there was a high probability linking probable outbursts of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower with certain events recorded in inscriptions during the Maya Classic Period, AD 250–900. This prior examination was the first scientific inquiry of its kind into ancient meteor outbursts possibly recorded in the western hemisphere where previously no pre-Columbian observations had existed. In the current paper the aim is to describe orbital dynamics of rare but probable Orionid outbursts that would have occurred on or near applicable dates recorded in the Classic Maya inscriptions. Specifically, significant probable outbursts are found in AD 417 and 585 out of 30 possible target years. The driving mechanisms for outbursts in those two years are Jovian 1:6 and 1:7 mean motion resonances acting to maintain compact structures within the Orionid stream for over 1 kyr. Furthermore, an Orionid outburst in AD 585 recorded by China is confirmed.

You can download this paper for free: (9 pages).

See also the webpage of James (“Hutch”) Kinsman:



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