Activity Outlook

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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 February 1-7, 2014

February offers the meteor observer in the northern hemisphere a couple of weak showers plus falling sporadic rates. This may not seem too exiting but you never know when surprises are in store. An errant earthgrazer from the Centaurid complex may shoot northward. Better yet, a bright fireball may light up the sky. February is the start of the fireball season, when an abundance of fireballs seem to occur. This lasts well into April and seems to occur mostly during the early evening hours.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 25-31, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Thursday January 30th. At this time the moon will lie near the sun and will be invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise near 0200 local standard time (LST). It will be bright enough to cause some interference in viewing meteor activity. Luckily, one can look in another direction and practically eliminate this problem. The moon be be less of a problem with each passing 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.).

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 18-24, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Friday January 24th. At this time the moon will lie 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local standard time (LST). This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the early evening and will remain in the sky the rest of the night This will produce a major obstacle to viewing meteors as the glare from the bright moon will obscure all but the brightest meteors. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 10 for observers viewing from mid-northern latitudes and 8 for observers located at tropical southern latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 11-17, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Wednesday January 15th. At this time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will set during the a few hours before dawn, allowing a couple of hours to view under dark conditions. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 10 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. Evening rates are reduced this week due to moonlight.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 4-10, 2014

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 Activity Outlook for December 28, 2013-January 3, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Wednesday January 1st. At this time the moon will lie near the sun and will be invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the late morning hours and should not interfere with meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 for observers located in the northern hemisphere and 3 for those viewing south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 16 for observers in the northern hemisphere and 10 for observers situated south of the equator.