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 August 30-September 5, 2014

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 23-29, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Monday August 25th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and is invisible at night. Late in this period the thin waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will not interfere with meteor observing as it will set soon after the end of evening twilight. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 5 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 20 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 12 for south tropical observers.

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 16-22, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Sunday August 17th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise between midnight and 0100 local daylight time as seen from mid-northern locations. Later this week the waning crescent moon will rise later in the morning increasing the window of opportunity to view under totally dark skies. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 5 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 25 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 15 for south tropical observers.

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 9-15, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Sunday August 10th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will be in the sky all night long. Later this week the waning gibbous moon will rise later in the evening allowing a brief period between dusk and moonrise to view under dark skies. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 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 17 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes and 13 for south tropical observers.

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 2-8, 2014

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 12. This shower is active most of the month and remains above the level of the sporadic background for a week centered on August 12. 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 south of the equator, 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 so rates from this shower are greatly reduced when compared to the northern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for July 26-August 1, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Saturday July 26th. At this time the moon will located near the sun and will be invisible at night. Later this week the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will set during the evening hours. The more active morning hours will not be affected by moonlight. 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. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 30 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.