During this period, the moon reaches its full phase on Thursday June 24th. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours allowing a few hours of viewing meteor activity under a dark sky between moon set and dawn. This window of opportunity shrinks with each passing night and by midweek the time of moon set and dawn will be simultaneous. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 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 9 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 12 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 are reduced by moonlight during this period. 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 June 19/20. 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. 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 June Bootids (JBO) should become active during this period. These meteors are best seen from June 25-29 with maximum activity occurring on the 27th. At maximum the radiant is located at 14:56 (224) +48. This position lies in northwestern Bootes, 15 degrees east of the 2nd magnitude star known as Alkaid (Eta Ursae Majoris). This radiant is best placed in the evening sky just as the sky becomes dark. Observers in the northern hemisphere have a distinct advantage over those located south of the equator as the radiant lies much higher in the evening sky. No matter your location, little activity is expected from this source. With an entry velocity of 18 km/sec., the average June Bootid meteor would be of very slow velocity.
The center of the large Anthelion (ANT) radiant is currently located at 18:44 (281) -23. This position lies in northern Sagittarius, 3 degrees northwest of the 2nd magnitude star known as Nunki (sigma Sagittarii). Due to the large size of this radiant, Anthelion activity may also appear from Scutum as well as Sagittarius. This radiant is best placed near 0100 local summer time (LST), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 2 per hour as seen from the Northern Hemisphere and 3 per hour as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Anthelion meteor would be of slow velocity.
The Daytime Arietids (ARI) are active from May 14-June 24 with maximum activity occurring on the June 7th. These meteors are difficult to catch as the radiant only lies 30 degrees west of the sun. Therefore, the only time these meteors are visible is during the last dark hour before dawn. The radiant is currently located at 03:40 (055) +27. This area of the sky is located in western Taurus, 3 degrees northwest of the naked eye open cluster known as the Pleiades or M45. Current rates are expected to be less than 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 38 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of medium velocity.
As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 7 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 1 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 9 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 during this period.
|SHOWER||DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY||CELESTIAL POSITION||ENTRY VELOCITY||CULMINATION||HOURLY RATE||CLASS|
|RA (RA in Deg.) DEC||Km/Sec||Local Summer Time||North-South|
|June Bootids (JBO)||Jun 27||14:56 (224) +48||18||22:00||<1 – <1||III|
|Anthelion (ANT)||–||18:44 (281) -23||30||02:00||2 – 3||II|
|Daytime Arietids (ARI)||Jun 07||03:40 (055) +27||38||11:00||<1 – <1||IV|