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 February 28-March 6, 2015

As seen from the northern hemisphere, March is the slowest month for meteor activity. No major annual showers are active and only a few very weak minor showers produce activity this month. The sporadic rates are also near their annual minimum so there is not much to look forward to this month except for the evening fireballs that seem to peak this time of year from the northern hemisphere. This could be due to the fact the Antapex radiant lies highest above the horizon this time of year during the evening hours. From the southern hemisphere, activity from the Centaurid complex begins to wane with only the weak activity visible from Norma and perhaps others areas nearby.

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 28-March 6, 2015

As seen from the northern hemisphere, March is the slowest month for meteor activity. No major annual showers are active and only a few very weak minor showers produce activity this month. The sporadic rates are also near their annual minimum so there is not much to look forward to this month except for the evening fireballs that seem to peak this time of year from the northern hemisphere. This could be due to the fact the Antapex radiant lies highest above the horizon this time of year during the evening hours. From the southern hemisphere, activity from the Centaurid complex begins to wane with only the weak activity visible from Norma and perhaps others areas nearby.

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 14-20, 2015

This week sees the moon finally giving way to dark skies but the meteor activity will be slow despite the absence of moonlight. Most of the activity this week is reserved for observers in the southern hemisphere as there are 3 active radiants in the southern constellation of Centaurus. Southern sporadic rates are also near their peak while northern rates continue to dwindle.

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 7-13, 2015

During this period the moon will hinder attempts to view meteor activity, especially during the more active morning hours. Later in the week the evening hours will be free of moonlight but activity at that time is expected to be very low. The moon reaches its last quarter phase on Thursday February 12th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near 0100 local standard time (LST) for observers located in mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the mid-evening hours and will hamper meteor viewing the remainder of the night.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 31-February 6, 2015

February offers the meteor observer in the northern hemisphere a couple of weak showers plus falling sporadic rates. This may not seem too exiting but you never know when surprises are in store. An errant earthgrazer from the Centaurid complex may shoot northward. Better yet, a bright fireball may light up the sky. February is the start of the fireball season, when an abundance of fireballs seem to occur. This lasts well into April and seems to occur mostly during the early evening hours. Observers in the southern hemisphere are treated to the Alpha Centaurid peak on the 8th plus the entire Centaurid complex of radiants is active all month long.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 24-30, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Monday January 26th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and will set near midnight local standard time (LST) for observers located in mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set prior to midnight allowing the more active morning hours to be free of interfering moonlight. As the week progresses the moon will become more of a problem as it waxes and sets later in the morning. By the end of this period there will only be a small window of dark skies available to view meteors between moon set and dawn.