During this period, the moon reaches its full phase on Friday November 19th. At that time the moon lies opposite the sun and remains above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours, allowing a few hours of observing between moonset and dawn. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 3 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers, the estimated total hourly rates should be near 20 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 13 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). 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. Evening rates during this period are reduced due to moonlight. Note that the hourly rates listed below are estimates as viewed from dark sky sites away from urban light sources. Observers viewing from urban areas will see less activity as only the brighter meteors will be visible from such locations.
The radiant (the area of the sky where meteors appear to shoot from) positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning November 13/14. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases (available at science stores and planetariums) will provide maps with grid lines of the celestial coordinates so that you may find out exactly where these positions are located in the sky. I have also included charts of the sky that display the radiant positions for evening, midnight, and morning. The center of each chart is the sky directly overhead at the appropriate hour. These charts are oriented for facing south but can be used for any direction by rotating the charts to the desired direction. A planisphere or computer planetarium program is also useful in showing the sky at any time of night on any date of the year. Activity from each radiant is best seen when it is positioned highest in the sky, either due north or south along the meridian, depending on your latitude. It must be remembered that meteor activity is rarely seen at the radiant position. Rather they shoot outwards from the radiant, so it is best to center your field of view so that the radiant lies at the edge and not the center. Viewing there will allow you to easily trace the path of each meteor back to the radiant (if it is a shower member) or in another direction if it is sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located far below the horizon. The positions below are listed in a west to east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The positions listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in the night while those listed further down the list rise later in the night.
These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.
The Southern Taurids (STA) are active from a large radiant is located at 03:55 (59) +16. This area of the sky is located in western Taurus, 5 degrees west of the 4th magnitude star known as gamma Tauri. This radiant is best placed near 0100 LST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Current rates should be near 3 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 27 km/sec., the average STA meteor would be of medium-slow velocity.
The Northern Taurids (NTA) are active from a large radiant is located at 04:01 (60) +23. This area of the sky is located in western Taurus, 3 degrees southeast of the naked eye star cluster known as the Pleiades. This radiant is best placed near 0100 LST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be 4 per hour as seen from the Northern Hemisphere and 3 per as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 29 km/sec., the average NTA meteor would be of medium-slow velocity.
The November Orionids (NOO) are active from November 13 through December 12, with maximum activity occurring on November 30th. The radiant is currently located at 05:24 (081) +16. This area of the sky lies on the Taurus/Orion border, 10 degrees north of the 2nd magnitude star known as Bellatrix (gamma Orionis). This radiant is best placed in the sky near 0300 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon. Rates should be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 44 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of medium speed.
The alpha Monocerotids (AMO) are best known for their occasional outbursts, the last which occurred in 2019. These meteors are active from 13-27 November with maximum occurring on 22 November. Rates away from the night of maximum are very low, far less than 1 per hour no matter your location. The radiant is currently located at 07:24 (111) +02. This area of the sky is located in southern Canis Minor, 4 degrees southwest of the zero-magnitude star known as Procyon (alpha Canis Minoris A). With an entry velocity of 65km/sec, most of these meteors would appear swift.
The Leonids (LEO) are active from November 03-December 02 with maximum activity occurring on November 18th. The radiant is currently located at 10:00 (150) +23. This position lies in western Leo, 2 degrees west of the 3rd magnitude star known as Adhafera (zeta Leonis). The Leonid radiant is best placed during the last hour before morning twilight when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Leonids may be seen from the Southern Hemisphere, but the viewing conditions are not quite as favorable as those north of the equator. Current rates are expected to be near 1 per hour as seen from the Northern Hemisphere and less than 1 as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 71 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed with numerous persistent trains on the brighter meteors.
As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 11 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 3 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 7 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 2 per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures. Evening rates are reduced by moonlight.
|SHOWER||DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY||CELESTIAL POSITION||ENTRY VELOCITY||CULMINATION||HOURLY RATE||CLASS|
|RA (RA in Deg.) DEC||Km/Sec||Local Standard Time||North-South|
|Southern Taurids (STA)||Oct 10||03:55 (59) +16||27||01:00||3 – 3||II|
|Northern Taurids (NTA)||Nov 12||04:01 (60) +23||29||01:00||4 – 3||II|
|November Orionids (NOO)||Nov 28||05:24 (081) +16||44||03:00||<1 – <1||II|
|alpha Monocerotids (AMO)||Nov 21||07:24 (111) +02||65||05:00||1 – <1||II|
|Leonids (LEO)||Nov 17||10:00 (150) +23||71||07:00||1 – <1||I|