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 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.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 1-7, 2014

As seen from the northern hemisphere, meteor rates continue to be strong in November. While no major activity is expected this month, the two Taurid radiants plus the Leonids keep the skies active. The addition of strong sporadic rates make November one of the better months to view meteor activity from north of the equator. Skies are fairly quiet as seen from the southern hemisphere this month. Activity from the three showers mentioned above may be seen from south of the equator, but the sporadic rates are much lower than those seen in the northern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 18-24, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Thursday October 23th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and cannot be seen at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours but will offer little trouble as long as the observer keeps 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 and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 12 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 7 for south tropical observers. Rates are slightly reduced for the morning hours during this period due to moonlight.

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 11-17, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Wednesday October 15th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and will be above the horizon from midnight onward. Although not perfect, these conditions will allow successful meteor observations as long as the observer keeps the moon out of their field of view. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the late evening hours and will severely impact the number of meteors visible. 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.