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 31-September 6, 2013

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 17-23, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Wednesday August 21st. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and interferes with meteor observing all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will be in the sky until the late morning hours, allowing a small window of opportunity to view under dark skies before dawn interferes. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near four for observers located in the northern hemisphere and three for those viewing south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twenty as seen from mid-northern latitudes and near twelve for observers viewing from tropical southern latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 10-16, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Tuesday August 13th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set between 2300 and midnight for locations in mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waxing crescent moon will not interfere with observing as it is very thin and will set shortly after dusk and will not interfere with observing during the more active morning hours. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near five for observers located in the northern hemisphere and three for those viewing south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for August 3-9, 2013

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 27-August 2, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Monday July 29th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local daylight time (LDT) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the bright gibbous moon will interfere with observing during the more active post midnight hours. As the week progresses the waning crescent moon will still cause interference but the circumstances will improve with each passing night. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near five for observers located in the northern hemisphere and three for those viewing south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for July 20-26, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Monday July 22nd. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will be in the sky most of the night as seen from mid-northern latitudes. As the week progresses the waning gibbous moon will rise later during the evening hours, but will still be in the sky during the more active morning hours, causing considerable interference with meteor viewing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near two no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near six no matter your location.