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 January 10-16, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Tuesday January 13th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and rises near midnight local standard time (LST). At this time evening skies are dark but the light of the half illuminated moon will interfere with observing during the morning hours. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will hamper viewing meteor activity after 2200 (10pm) LST. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 10 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 8 as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 3-9, 2015

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 Shower Activity for December 27, 2014-January 2, 2015

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Sunday December 28th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and sets near midnight local standard time (LST). The dark observing window between moon set and dawn shrinks with each passing night, being only an hour long at the end of this period. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 18 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 15 as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 20-26, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Monday December 22th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and cannot be seen at night. Later next week the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will pose no interference to meteor observers. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 18 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 12 as seen from below the equator. 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 December 13-19, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Sunday December 14th. At this time the moon rises near midnight local standard time (LST) and will remain in the sky the remainder of the night. Viewing conditions improve with each passing night as the moon wanes and rises later each morning. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 3 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 65 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 30 as seen from below the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 6-12, 2014

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Saturday December 6th. At this time the moon lies in the sky all night long and obscures all but the brightest meteors. Toward the end of this period the moon will approach its last quarter phase and will not be nearly as bright as when full. This will allow observers to view meteor activity as long as they keep the moon out of their field of view. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 as seen from the northern hemisphere (45N) and 2 as seen from southern tropical latitudes (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 13 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 10 as seen from below the equator.