25
Jan
2013

Meteor Activity Outlook for January 26-February 1, 2013

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Sunday January 27th. At this time the moon will be located opposite the sun and will be in the sky all night long.  As the week progresses the moon will rise a little later each evening but there is little meteor activity to be seen during the dark evening 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 eight from the mid-northern hemisphere and four 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 during this entire period due to 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 January 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 table below presents a condensed version of the expected activity this week. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning . Details of each shower will again be provided next week when the situation with interfering moonlight improves.

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
Antihelions (ANT) - 09:20 (140) +15 30 00:00 2 – 1 II
IMO #22 Feb 08 13:04 (196) +12 65 04:00 <1 – <1 IV
Alpha Centaurids (ACE) Feb 08 13:12 (198) -56 56 04:00 <1 – <1 II
Alpha Coronae Borealids A (ACB) Jan 28 15:28 (232) +29 60 06:00 1 – <1 IV
Alpha Coronae Borealids B (ACB) Feb 01 16:04 (241) +42 51 07:00 <1 – <1 IV

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 →
3 Responses
  1. Melissa Entin says: January 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    At 7:30 p.m. CST, in The Woodlands, TX on Saturday, January 25, 2013, my husband and I both saw a bluish green object streak across the sky in a southerly direction. This object was followed by a vapor trail that as of 8 p.m., was still visible.


  2. On jan 27 at about 2130 hours I saw approximately 8-10 meteors streak across the sky from east to west. Located just north of Atlanta, ga. They were visible for about 30 seconds as they traveled directly over me.
    Very cool!!!


  3. Maria Walker says: January 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Yesterday 27 Jan 2013 about 8:20 pm My husband and I saw a green ball light with some like litle tail, for a several minutes, in the bay area Oakland CA, from north to south, was pretty look at the Moon and the objet together!


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