Meteor Activity Outlook for March 19-25, 2016

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AMS Event#1044-2016 by Josh Beasley – March 14th, 2016

Radiant Positions at 7pm LST

Radiant Positions at 7pm Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at Midnight Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at Midnight Local Standard Time

Radiant Positions at 5am LST

Radiant Positions at 5am Local Standard Time

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Wednesday March 23rd. On that date the moon will be located opposite the sun and will be above the horizon all night long. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will ruin evening observing but will set during the early morning hours, allowing an hour or two of dark skies before the arrival of dawn. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 for observers located in the northern hemisphere and 3 for observers located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 6 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). Rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight. 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. 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 March 19/20. 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 the situation with moonlight improves.

SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
Anthelions (ANT) 12:48 (192) -06 30 02:00 1 – 1 II
Gamma Normids (GNO) Mar 24 16:03 (241) -54 68 06:00 <1 – <1 IV

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One comment

  • Joey Mancini 9 months ago

    I live in Merritt island Florida, located on the east coast and is an island located between the mainland and beach barrier island. Basically about 6 miles from Kennedy space center. My condo front door faces due east. Tonight I walked out front door and was enjoying a perfectly clear and warm spring night with a very large and bright moon still rising at 10:30 pm. The moon was just a little higher then the roofs of the next condo complex. Just a really nice night.
    All of a sudden I see a long, bright and rather impressive streak come from what seemed high north to north west to east south east direction. It was so bright the large almost full moon light did not even hurt the visibility at all. You could even see the break up and multiple trails. What a treat tonight . I searched just now to see if there was a shower as I am always hunting in the sky since I experienced a amazing shower one November years ago unexpected but will always remember. Anyways seen this site and wanted to share with all.
    March 23, 2016
    10:30pm
    Merritt island Florida

    Reply to Joey

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