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 October 5-11, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Saturday October 5th. At this time the moon lies close to the sun and is not visible in the night sky. Next week the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will set long before the more active morning hours arrive. 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 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and near 10 for observers viewing from tropical southern latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for September 28-October 4, 2013

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active most of the month along with many minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are the big story of the month reaching maximum activity on the 22nd. This display can be seen equally well from both hemispheres which definitely helps out observers located in the sporadic-poor southern hemisphere this time of year.

Meteor Activity Outlook for September 21-27, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Friday September 27th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local daylight time as seen from mid-northern latitudes. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise a few hours after dusk and will obscure all but the brightest meteors the remainder of the night. The dark meteor observing window increases by roughly 45 minutes each night between moon rise and dusk. Unfortunately the evening hours are poor for viewing meteor activity so do not expect to see much activity during this time.

Meteor Activity Outlook for September 14-20, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Thursday September 19th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will be above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set a few hours after midnight, allowing a few hours of dark skies before the start of dawn. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three for observers located in the northern hemisphere and two for those viewing south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near seventeen as seen from mid-northern latitudes and near twelve for observers viewing from tropical southern latitudes. Evening rates during this period are reduced due to moonlight.

Meteor Activity Outlook for September 7-13, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Thursday September 12th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set near midnight local daylight time. This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set shortly after dusk and will not interfere with meteor observing. 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 thirteen for observers viewing from tropical southern latitudes.

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.