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 May 11-17, 2013

During this period the moon waxes from its new phase to nearly fifty percent illuminated. This will limit moonlight to the evening hours during the first portion of this period and up to 2am by Friday May 17. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near two as seen from the northern hemisphere and three as seen from south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near thirteen as seen from the northern hemisphere and twenty as seen from the southern hemisphere. 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 April 27-May 3, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Thursday May 2nd. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees west of the sun and rise near 0200 local daylight time (LDT) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the late evening hours and will severely hamper attempts at meteor observing the remainder of the night. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three as seen from the northern hemisphere and four as seen from south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near five as seen from the northern hemisphere and eight as seen from the southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 20-26, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Thursday April 25th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the late morning hours and allow a very short period of dark skies for meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three as seen from the northern hemisphere and four as seen from south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near seventeen 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 April 13-19, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Wednesday April 17th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and sets near 0100 local daylight time (LDT). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the late evening hours and will not cause any problems for meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three as seen from the northern hemisphere and four as seen from south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near ten from the mid-northern hemisphere and fifteen from the mid-southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 6-13, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Wednesday April 10th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and is not visible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the late morning hours but will be too thin to be much of a problem to meteor observers. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three as seen from the northern hemisphere and four as seen from south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near eight from the mid-northern hemisphere and twelve from the mid-southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 30-April 5, 2013

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.