Meteor Activity Outlook for November 28-December 4, 2015

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Giacobinid Fireball Over Bear Lake, Idaho
Giacobinid Fireball Over Bear Lake, Idaho USA, 10:41 pm on October 10, 2015 – Canon EOS Rebel T5i (700D) Tokina 11-16mm f2.8 lens. ISO 1600 f-stop 2.8 Exposure Time: 20 seconds. – Credit Tom Reynolds

Radiant Positions at 8pm LST

Radiant Positions at 8pm Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at Midnight Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at Midnight Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at 4am Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at 4am Local Standard Time

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Thursday December 3rd. On that date the moon will be located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local standard time for viewers located in mid-northern latitudes. The more active morning hours will be plagued by bright moonlight during this entire period. Evening observers will find conditions improving with each passing night as the moon wanes from nearly full to half-illuminated. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 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 10 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 7 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. Rates during the morning hours are reduced during this period due to moonlight. 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 brightest 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 November 28/29. 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.

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week. Details of each source will continue next week when viewing conditions are much better.

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
Phoenicids (PHO) Dec 02 01:12 (018) -53 10 20:00 <1 – <1 III
Dec. Phi Cassiopeiids (DPC) Dec 05 01:33 (023) +51 19 21:00 <1 – <1 IV
Northern Taurids (NTA) Nov 11 04:52 (073) +24 27 00:00 1 – <1 II
November Orionids (NOO) Nov 29 06:04 (091) +15 44 01:00 1 – 1 II
Geminids (GEM) Dec 13 06:32 (098) +34 34 02:00 1 – <1 I
Sigma Hydrids (HYD) Dec 07 07:52 (118) +04 61 03:00 1 – 1 II
Puppid-Velids (PUP) Dec 07 08:28 (127) -47 42 04:00 <1 – 2 II
Leonids (LEO) Nov 18 10:44 (161) +17 70 06:00 <1 – <1 I
Psi Ursa Majorids (PSU) Dec 05 11:12 (168) +44 61 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
Dec. Kappa Draconids (DKD) Dec 03 12:18 (184) +71 41 07:00 <1 – <1 IV
Nov. Iota Draconids (NID) Nov 21 13:048 (196) +65 41 08:00 <1 – <1 IV

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2 comments

  • Karine 1 year ago

    Seen near COLLOBRIERES (france/var) november the 28th nearby 21h Alfa, meteore.
    possible?

    Reply to Karine
  • Brian Cieslak 1 year ago

    We had a public skywatch at the Horwitz Planetarium in Waukesha, WI tonite, Dec 4, 2015 from 5:00 to 8:00 PM CST. Moonless clear dark sky to 3rd mag. We were treated to 4 nice meteors over the two hours. all from overhead. So I’ll assume it may have been cassiopeiids. Slow moving, short duration. Very nice..

    Reply to Brian

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