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 April 30-May 6, 2011

May is a fairly slow month for meteor activity. The Eta Aquariids are very active the first two weeks of the month then fade as the month progresses. The only other showers active this month are the weak Nu Cygnids, the Eta Lyrids, and the Antihelion radiant. These will add only 1-2 meteors per hour to the total count. Sporadic rates are low but steady as seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45 N). Sporadic rates seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45 S) are strong but beginning to decline.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Tuesday May 3.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 23-29, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Monday April 25. At this time the moon will lie ninety degrees east of the sun and will rise near 0100 LDT (Local Daylight Time) for those situated in the mid-northern latitudes. While the moonlight will cause interference for meteor observing, the effects will be much less than when the moon is near its full phase. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near two as seen from the northern hemisphere and three as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near nine from the northern hemisphere and twelve as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 16-22, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Monday April 18. At this time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will be in the sky all night long. This is the worst time of the month to try and view meteor activity as the bright moonlight will obscure all but the brightest meteors. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near one as seen from the northern hemisphere and two as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near six from the northern hemisphere and seven as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 9-15, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Monday April 11. At this time the moon will lie ninety degrees west of the sun and will set near 0100 LDT (Local Daylight Time) for those situated in the mid-northern latitudes. This is favorable circumstances for meteor observing as the moon will have set before the active morning hours arrive. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near two as seen from the northern hemisphere and three as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near eleven from the northern hemisphere and sixteen as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for April 2-8, 2011

Meteor activity picks up a bit during April as two major showers are active during the month. The first of these, the Lyrids, are active from the 16th through the 25th, with a pronounced maximum on the 22nd. The Eta Aquariids start appearing near the 28th and reach maximum activity during the first week in May. Sporadic rates are low but steady as seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45 N). Sporadic rates seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45 S) rise this month toward a maximum in July.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Sunday April 3.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 26- April 1, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Saturday March 26. At this time the half illuminated moon will be in the sky from roughly 0100 LDT (local daylight time) through the remainder of the morning. As the week progresses, the waning crescent moon will become less of a problem with each passing night. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near two as seen from the northern hemisphere and three as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near seven from the northern hemisphere and ten as seen from south of the equator.