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 December 8-14, 2012

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Thursday December 13th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and will be invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours. It will be a minor inconvenience that can be overcome by simply viewing with the moon at your back. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near four for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and three for observers in mid-southern latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twenty from the mid-northern hemisphere and sixteen from the mid-southern hemisphere.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 1-7, 2012

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. This activity will be tempered by a bright moon during the first week of the month. The next two weeks are moon-free and offer the meteor observer ample opportunities to view some celestial fireworks. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 13. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 17-23, 2012

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Tuesday November 20th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set near 2300 (1100pm) local standard time (LST). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the early evening hours and will pose no problems to meteor watchers. Later in the week the gibbous moon will limit good meteor observing to the late morning morning before dawn. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near four for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and three for observers in mid-southern latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for November 3-9, 2012

As seen from the northern hemisphere, meteor rates continue to be strong in November. While no major activity is expected this month, the two Taurid radiants plus the Leonids keep the skies active. The addition of strong sporadic rates make November one of the better months to view meteor activity from north of the equator. Skies are fairly quiet as seen from the southern hemisphere this month.

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 27-November 2, 2012

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Monday October 29th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will remain above the horizon the entire night as seen from locations in mid-northern latitudes. This weekend will not be any better as the moon will not set until after the start of morning twilight. As the week progresses the waning gibbous moon will rise later in the evening hours but will still interfere with the more productive morning hours. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near two for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and one for observers in mid-southern latitudes.

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 20-26, 2012

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Sunday October 21st. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and well set near 2300 (11pm) local daylight time (LDT). As the week progresses the waxing gibbous moon will set later and later in the morning, interfering with meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near three for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and two for observers in mid-southern latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near thirty eight from the mid-northern hemisphere and twenty seven from the mid-southern hemisphere.