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 April 12-18, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Tuesday April 15th. At this time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will be above the horizon all night long. Observers in the western hemisphere who have clear skies on Monday night/Tuesday morning might try viewing meteor activity during the total phase of the lunar eclipse that night. The total phase will last 78 minutes and during this period the moon will be darkened by the Earth's shadow and faint stars (and meteors) can be seen. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 1 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 2 for observers viewing from the southern tropics (latitude 25 S.).

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 5-11, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Sunday April 6th. At this time the moon will lie 90 degrees east of the sun and will set near 0200 local daylight time (LDT) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. As the week progresses the waxing gibbous moon will begin to interfere with meteor observing as it remains in the sky most of the night. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 3 for observers viewing from the southern tropics (latitude 25 S.). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 9 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 12 for observers viewing from the southern tropics.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 29-April 4, 2014

Meteor activity picks up a bit during April as the Lyrids become active during the month. They are active from the 18th through the 25th, with a pronounced maximum on the 22nd. Sporadic rates during April are steady as seen from both hemispheres with southern observers enjoying twice the activity that can be seen from the mid-northern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 22-28, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Sunday March 23rd. At this time the moon will lie 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local daylight time for sites located at mid-northern latitudes. While only half illuminated, the moon will still be a nuisance during the more active morning hours. It would help to face the opposite direction from the moon to see the most activity this weekend. As the week progresses the waning crescent moon will become less of a problem with each passing night as it rises approximately 45 minutes later each night.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 8-14, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Saturday March 8th. At this time the moon will lie 90 degrees east of the sun and will set between midnight and 0100 local standard time for sites located at mid-northern latitudes. This will allow the more active morning hours to be free of interfering moonlight this weekend. Next week though, the moon will become more of a problem as it sets approximately 45 minutes with each passing night. Toward the end of the week the nearly full moon will be in the sky most of the night making meteor observing difficult.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March1-7, 2014

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.