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 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.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 19-25, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Saturday March 19th. At that time the moon lies opposite the sun and will remain in the sky the entire night. Meteor observations during this period are difficult at best, especially with the normal low rates that occur this time of year. 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 four from the northern hemisphere and six as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 12-18, 2011

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Saturday March 12. At this time the half illuminated moon will be in the sky from dusk through midnight local standard time (0100 local daylight saving time). As the week progresses the waxing moon will become gibbous shaped and will set later and later, remaining in the sky nearly the entire night toward the end of the week. 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.

Meteor Activity Outlook for March 5-11, 2011

During this period the moon waxes from a thin crescent to nearly one-half illuminated. During this entire period the moon will only be in the evening sky and will not interfere with the more active morning hours. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three as seen from the northern hemisphere and four as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near ten from the northern hemisphere and fourteen as seen from south of the equator.

Meteor Activity Outlook for February 26-March 4, 2011

March is the slowest month for meteor activity. No major annual showers are active and only two very weak minor showers produce activity this month. The sporadic rates continue a slow decline as seen from the mid-northern latitudes and mid-southern rates reach a first half minimum. There is not much to look forward to this month expect for the evening fireballs that seem to peak this time of year from the northern hemisphere.