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 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.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 17-23, 2015

This period is dominated by numerous weak radiants best observed during the morning hours. The moon reaches its new phase on Tuesday January 20th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and cannot be seen at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise shortly before dawn and will not interfere with meteor observing. Likewise, late in this period the moon will enter the evening sky but will set shortly after dusk and again will not interfere with meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 no matter your location.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 10-16, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Tuesday January 13th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and rises near midnight local standard time (LST). At this time evening skies are dark but the light of the half illuminated moon will interfere with observing during the morning hours. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will hamper viewing meteor activity after 2200 (10pm) LST. 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 10 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 8 as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 3-9, 2015

January is best known for the Quadrantids, which have the potential of being the best shower of the year. Unfortunately this shower is short lived and occurs during some of the worst weather in the northern hemisphere. Due to the high northern declination (celestial latitude) and short summer nights, little of this activity can be seen south of the equator. There are many very minor showers active throughout the month. Unfortunately most of these produce less than 1 shower member per hour and do not add much to the overall activity total. Activity gets interesting as seen from the southern hemisphere as ill-defined radiants in Vela, Carina, and Crux become active this month.

Meteor Shower Activity for December 27, 2014-January 2, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Sunday December 28th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and sets near midnight local standard time (LST). The dark observing window between moon set and dawn shrinks with each passing night, being only an hour long at the end of this period. 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 18 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 15 as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 20-26, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Monday December 22th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and cannot be seen at night. Later next week the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will pose no interference to meteor observers. 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 18 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 12 as seen from below the equator. 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.