Activity Outlook

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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 August 29-September 4, 2015

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 August 22-28, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Saturday August 22nd. The half-illuminated moon will set around midnight allowing unimpeded viewing of the morning sky when meteor activity is stronger. The moon will wax toward full and will set approximately 45 minutes later with each passing night. Toward the end of this period the moon will lie above the horizon most of the night making meteor observing difficult as the lunar glare will mask all but the brightest meteors. 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).

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 8-14, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Friday August 14th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and is invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours but will not interfere too much with meteor viewing. While not nearly as bright as a full moon, the crescent moon can be annoying. The key is to keep the moon out of your field of view while observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 5 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 4 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S).

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 1-7, 2015

Meteor activity kicks into high gear in August as seen from the northern hemisphere. The main reason for all this activity is the Perseid shower that peaks on August 13th. This shower is active most of the month and remains above the level of the sporadic background for a week centered on August 13th. The sporadic activity is also near maximum as seen from the northern hemisphere and is now more than double the rates from just three months ago. As seen from southern hemisphere, meteor rates are still decent but falling rapidly. The sporadic rates continue their downward slide and the Perseid radiant does not rise high into the sky as seen in the southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for July 25-31, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Thursday July 30th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and and lies above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours, offering a few hours of dark sky meteor observing before dawn arrives. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 20 no matter your location. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity.

Meteor Activity Outlook for July 18-24, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Thursday July 23rd. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and sets near midnight local daylight time (LDT). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the late evening hours and will not interfere with meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 13 no matter your location. The actual rates will also depend on factors such as personal light and motion perception, local weather conditions, alertness and experience in watching meteor activity.