24
May
2012

Meteor Activity Outlook for May 26- June 1, 2012

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Monday the 28th. At this time the moon will be located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set near 0100 local daylight time as seen from mid-northern latitudes. As the week progresses the waxing gibbous moon will set later and later, narrowing the window of opportunity to view in dark conditions. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near two for observers in the northern hemisphere and three for those south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near seven as seen from mid-northern latitudes and thirteen from mid-southern latitudes. 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.

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 May 26/27. 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 a sporadic. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that are located 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.

The following shower is expected to be active this week:

The large Antihelion (ANT) radiant is currently located at 17:12 (258) -23. This position lies in extreme southeastern Ophiuchus, ten degrees northeast of the bright first magnitude orange star Antares (Alpha Scorpii). Due to the large size of this radiant, Antihelion activity may also appear from Scorpius , western Sagittarius, southwestern Serpens Cauda, as well as southern Ophiuchus . This radiant is best placed near 0200 LDT, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near two per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and three as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Antihelion meteor would be of slow velocity.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately five sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near one per hour. As seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45S), morning rates would be near ten per hour as seen from rural observing sites and two per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures.

The table below presents a condensed version of the expected activity this week. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning.

SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Time North-South
Antihelions (ANT) - 17:12 (258) -23 30 02:00 2 – 3 II

About Robert Lunsford

Bob has been interested in the stars as far back as he can recall His first experience with meteors was a biggie, the 1966 Leonid shower. In 1980, a major awaking occurred. He received a sample copy of Meteor News. He was amazed to learn there was a group actually devoted strictly to meteor observing! He joined the group also started to view some of the minor showers list among the pages of Meteor News. Lastly, he was contracted by Springer Publishing in 2007 to write a book on observing meteors. The book is now available and hopefully will be a useful guide to all interested in the enjoyable field of meteor observing. More info about Robert Lunsford →
20 Responses
  1. Hello!! My friend and I just saw a white, sparkly short streak across the sky, just east of the moon. It was sooooo bright and quick, but very amazing and stunning! We live in Orlando, Florida. It happened at approximately 10:05-10:10pm!


    • I saw the same thing in Titusville. My husband and I were sitting on our backporch and saw this bright white ball with a short blue/red streak across the sky. Glad to see someone else saw it….I couldn’t find anything online.


  2. Looking straight up, half-moon at our left, the meteor moved right to left…towards the moon. (if that makes any sense!) It was a rather large ball of white sparkles! And, yes…we made wishes!


  3. Just saw something that looked like a meteor but it was blue then green and flared when it hit our atmosphere to a bright glowing green, then a poof of white and it was gone. Wtf was that?


    • amsadmin says: May 27, 2012 at 8:29 am

      April and All,

      You are describing a fireball, which is a meteor only larger in size and therefore brighter and longer-lasting than your average meteor. These usually occur on a totally random basis so count your lucky to have seen it!

      Robert Lunsford
      American Meteor Society


      • Chris Callow says: June 2, 2012 at 5:19 am

        Very bright fireball seen from St Sigismond in the French Alps last night 1st June, looking East.


  4. We also saw the meteor in Orlando, FL On May 26th just after 10PM. Came on here just to confirm this was truly a meteor and not some firework, as we were in Universal Studios. It was BEAUTIFUL, though!


  5. saw two, one right after the other, one was greenish and the other was white. Made 2 wishes! LOL!


  6. James Wade says: May 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    On May27,2012 at about 21:00, on Main St. in Sandwich Illinois, My wife and I spoted a red glowing literal fireball heading south to north, never seeing one i stoped and watched. Not even 5 seconds after that one faded 3 more about the same size and direction came and then even more. From the time of the first one to the time we left from chasing them I seen more that 20+. I have never seen an event like this, it was quite crazy. About 5 of the ones we saw were so close you could actually make out the flames on them. I have been looking all over for news on this even but have come up empty handed. I have two videos on my iphone but they do not do the objects any justice. Event was slowing down after about 30 minutes of watching.


  7. Nick Streza says: May 30, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Tonight (5/30/12 @ 1225-1236am), I was in my hot-tub.

    Looking directly verticle(90%), ( Idon’t have a degree sign on my keyboard.)
    I saw, what was not what I would consider a fireball.

    Instead, it was more like a single “roman candle firework” arching across the sky, remarkedly from the NW to the SE.

    White, not Red or Blue, like a firework.

    Usually, I look to the east to look for meteors/ showers.

    This caught my eye since we had an obstructed view of the sky from the lingering effects of Tropical Storm Beryle.

    High wispy clouds traveling @ high speed, I.SAW IT THROUGH THE CLOUDS.

    I only saw 2 Commercial Jets @ altitude headed for So. America and a general aviation aircraft lining up to land to the north @ St Augustine, Fl airport that night.

    Never saw the moon.

    Any way, this meteor came, NW to SE, visible thru the clouds, and took @ least 2 second to travel from 90% to 60% above the horizon.

    At that point, it broke into 4 pieces, 2 large, 2 small.

    Remarkably. the motion of the 4 pieces was no longer NW to SE, but down.

    I followed these 4 rocks down for a good 1-2econds.

    I never lost sight of them til they stopped emitting light.

    Either they burned up (I doubt it), or cooled-off enough to not glow.

    If you have a good gps, I can give you excelent coordinates where they were heading..

    If someone else saw it, or radar detected it,(Nextrad weather, JAX, Mayport Radar, DAB etc), I’m sure you could triangulate it and find these 4 rocks and not have to travel to the south pole.

    Probably off Anastasia Island, north of where Mantansas River meets the Atlantic.

    Sorry, only thought to look @ my watch after the event.

    All night, I could only see a solitary panet in the sky(Mars/Jupiter?) on the Planetary plane, to my east.

    Nothing else, THIS THING it was bright.

    NICK STREZA

    Good Luck!


  8. Patty Price says: May 30, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    The other night i was looking up in the sky I saw a large green ball it was bright and following the green ball was like orange like sparks in like a cone shape it went by and then the sky lit a bright geen and didnt see it any more what was that?


  9. For several hours, starting late in the evening of 05/30/2012, through the morning of 05/31/2012, a Meteor Storm occurred, peaking around 01:30 CDT. Detected by my Space RADAR Receiver, I recorded between 7 and 20 Meteors per minute. Since the beginning of 2012, I have only witnessed this dense a Storm twice, the previous two times did not last nearly as long as this recent Storm.


  10. I seen what start off looking like a small meteor then got much bigger it started off as a white streak then turned red as it came thru atmosphere then quickly went from blue to yellow to green, the meteor was pretty large. the odd thing was it seemed like the meteor was long instead of being round. Seen it 04-12-12 in Atlantic county new Jersey. Between 6 pm -7 pm just before it got dark. I haven’t. Seen any other reports of anything that day …..


    • Continued – the fire ball I seen on4-12-12 came in east and headed south, and it looked like it exploded just before it hit the ground, about tree top level.


  11. shirley snodgrass says: June 3, 2012 at 12:04 am

    My son and I saw what we thought was a shooting star around 10 pm tonight — it was in an area just north of Baton Rouge; we usually have too much humidity in the air to see anything here — can some one tell me what it was? I made a wish.


    • Shirley and All,

      It was most likely a fireball, which is a meteor that is brighter than normal. They can be bright enough to be seen during the day so penetrating the haze of Louisiana should not be a problem.

      Robert Lunsford
      American Meteor Society


  12. I just saw a green fire ball. It was a fairly large on that lasted just over 2 sec. I saw it from south west Fort Worth Texas. I was looking North West. I have never seen a bright green fire ball before. I think it probably made impact somwhere North West of Fort Worth.


  13. about 10:30 last night in montgomery village, MD there as a sound like a door being slamed and a bright light in the sky. Could that be a meteor?

    6/7/2012


    • amsadmin says: June 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Jane and All,

      It’s a possibility but we need a more detailed account to be certain. Details like the duration of the light and the time delay between the light and the sound is important.

      Robert Lunsford


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