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 December 13-19, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Sunday December 14th. At this time the moon rises near midnight local standard time (LST) and will remain in the sky the remainder of the night. Viewing conditions improve with each passing night as the moon wanes and rises later each morning. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 65 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 30 as seen from below the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 6-12, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Saturday December 6th. At this time the moon lies in the sky all night long and obscures all but the brightest meteors. Toward the end of this period the moon will approach its last quarter phase and will not be nearly as bright as when full. This will allow observers to view meteor activity as long as they keep the moon out of their field of view. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 13 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 10 as seen from below the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 29-December 5, 2014

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. Unfortunately this year the bright moon will hamper the viewing of this activity. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 13. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year. Much of the activity mentioned above can also be seen from the southern hemisphere. While the sporadic rates are not as strong as those seen from the north, they are stronger than the previous months and heading for a maximum in February.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 22-28, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Saturday November 22. At this time the moon is invisible at night and will not interfere with meteor observing. As the week progresses the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will set well before midnight, leaving the more active morning hours free from moonlight. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 5 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 20 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 14 for south tropical observers.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 15-21, 2014

During this period the moon wanes from half illuminated to nearly its new phase. During this entire period the moon is only visible during the morning hours, allowing dark skies prior to midnight. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours. Since it will be less than half illuminated it will not compromise meteor watching unless you view directly toward the moon. As the week progresses viewing conditions improve as the lunar phase thins plus the moon rises later each night. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 8-14, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Friday November 14th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and rises near 2300 (11pm) local standard time (LST) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the early evening hours and will effectively ruin any chances of watching meteor activity as the bright moon will obscure all but the brightest meteors. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 9 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 6 for south tropical observers.