Activity Outlook

Weekly Meteor Activity Outlook articles by Bob Lunsford. Bob gives outlooks to upcoming meteor activity about once a week. He features showers from the working list of meteor showers as well as suspected radiants. Please refer only to the radiants of the Working list of visual meteor showers in observing reports.

Meteor Activity Outlook for 24-30 September 2016

During this period the moon wanes from nearly half illuminated down to only a few percent by the end of the week. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours and will cause interference with viewing meteor activity. This can be overcome by observing areas of the sky free of lunar glare. By the end of the week the moon will not be a factor as it becomes slender and rises just before dawn. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 3 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S).

Meteor Activity Outlook for 17-23 September 2016

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Friday September 23rd. At that time the half illuminated moon will rise near midnight local summer time (LST). This weekend the nearly full moon will be in the sky most of the night, obscuring a majority of the meteor activity. This is the worst time of the month to try an view meteor activity as the active morning hours will be bathed in bright moonlight. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 1 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 8 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 5 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S).

Meteor Activity Outlook for 10-16 September 2016

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Friday September 16th. This weekend the half-illuminated moon will set during the early morning hours, allowing the remainder of the night to be moon-free and dark for meteor viewing. This window of darkness will decrease as the week progresses until the bright moon remains above the horizon all night long. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 2 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 18 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 13 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S).

Meteor Activity Outlook for 3-9 September 2016

September offers longer nights in the northern hemisphere that tend to be less hazy than those experienced in mid-summer. In the sky, no major showers are visible from either hemisphere but the northern hemisphere enjoys the advantage of higher sporadic rates. Most of the shower activity this month is produced from the Perseus-Aurigid complex active this time of year. These showers rarely produce more than five meteors per hour but still manage to produce most of the shower activity seen this month. Unfortunately the Perseus-Aurigid complex lies too low in the northern sky for southern hemisphere observers to view very well.

Meteor Activity Outlook for 27 August-2 September 2016

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Thursday September 1st. At this time the moon will be located near the sun and will be invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise a few hours before dawn. This will allow unimpeded meteor observations nearly all night long. Even when the moon is above the horizon it will be too thin and too low in the sky to cause problems. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 3 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 18 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 13 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S).

Meteor Activity Outlook for 13-19 August 2016

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Thursday August 18th. At this time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set shortly before the start of dawn, obscuring many of the fainter meteors that would otherwise be seen in a darker sky . The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for observers located in the northern hemisphere and 2 for observers located in tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 40 for observers located in the northern hemisphere and 20 for observers located in tropical southern locations (25S).