Although there are no major showers active in September, meteor rates in the northern hemisphere continue to be strong. Minor activity from the constellations of Auriga, Perseus, and Taurus, as well as strong sporadic rates, produce these impressive rates. Rates as seen from the southern hemisphere have dropped off significantly since the July peak. Other than weak sporadic rates, only the antihelion radiant produces any notable shower activity in the southern skies.

The moon reached its full phase on Thursday September 7. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the mid-evening hours and will interfere with any attempts at viewing meteor activity throughout the night. Not until late in this period, when the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Thursday September 14, will conditions again be favorable for viewing. The sources of meteors listed below are active during this period but will be difficult to observe. If your sky is transparent and the limiting magnitude exceeds +5.0, then you may be able to achieve some success. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three for those in the Northern Hemisphere and one for those located in the Southern Hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near eight for those located in the Northern Hemisphere and two for those in the Southern Hemisphere. These rates assume that you are watching from rural areas away from all sources of light pollution. 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. Rates are reduced this week due to intense moonlight.

The full descriptions of each active meteor shower will continue next week when the moon becomes less of a nuisance to observers.

Antihelion (ANT) – 00:00 (000) +01,
Northern Hemisphere – 1, Southern Hemisphere – 1,

September Perseids (SPE) 04:00 (060) +47,
Northern Hemisphere – 1, Southern Hemisphere – >1,

Alpha Aurigids (AUR) 06:08 (092) +42,
Northern Hemisphere – >1, Southern Hemisphere – 0,

Clear Skies!

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