During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Monday October 29th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and will remain above the horizon the entire night as seen from locations in mid-northern latitudes. This weekend will not be any better as the moon will not set until after the start of morning twilight. As the week progresses the waning gibbous moon will rise later in the evening hours but will still interfere with the more productive morning hours. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near two for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and one for observers in mid-southern latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near nine from the mid-northern hemisphere and six from the mid-southern hemisphere. 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 the intense 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 October 27/28. 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.
Due to the poor observing conditions present this week, the detailed listings of each active radiant will not be presented until conditions improve during the following week.
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|
|Northern Taurids (NTA)||Nov 13||03:04 (046) +20||29||02:00||1 – <1||II|
|Southern Taurids (STA)||Oct 09||03:12 (048) +12||29||02:00||<1 – <1||II|
|Orionids (ORI)||Oct 22||06:44 (101) +16||67||05:00||5 – 5||I|
|Epsilon Geminids (EGE)||Oct 15||06:56 (110) +28||70||06:00||<1 – <1||II|