Author Archives: Robert Lunsford

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 →
Matthew Moses

Meteor activity picks up a bit during April as the Lyrids become active during the month. They are active from the 18th through the 25th, with a pronounced maximum on the 23rd. Sporadic rates during April are steady as seen from both hemispheres with southern observers enjoying twice the activity that can be seen from the mid-northern hemisphere.

Jimmy Dahlström.

The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 4 for observers viewing from the southern tropics. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 7 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 10 for observers viewing from the southern tropics.

© Ruslan Merzlyakov - Vortex of star trails created using Photoshop - Stenbjerg, Thy National Park, Denmark. March 2015.

During this period the moon will reach its new phase on Friday March 20th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and is invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours and will interfere with meteor observing if not kept out of ones field of view.


 Meteors and Northern Lights over Snæfellsnes glacier, Iceland – Feb 20th, 2015 – © Diana Robinson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dianasch/)

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Friday March 13th. At that time the moon is located 90 degrees west of the sun and rises near 0100 local daylight saving time. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the late evening hours effectively ruining the remainder of the night for meteor observing…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wherezjeff/

As seen from the northern hemisphere, March is the slowest month for meteor activity. No major annual showers are active and only a few very weak minor showers produce activity this month. The sporadic rates are also near their annual minimum so there is not much to look forward to this month except …

Taken from the 59th street pier in Ocean City, New Jersey at 5:00 am on February 16, 2015. This meteor was bright green and lit up the sky for a few seconds, traveling downwards towards the horizon over open ocean. It was to the right of a rising milky way and crescent moon.

While conditions are favorable for meteor observing during this period, hourly rates are expected to be low, especially from the northern hemisphere. There are no “real” radiants active during this period plus sporadic rates are low as seen from the northern hemisphere. These low rates can be blamed on the…


140725-whirl_5811a5bf5c7c7a2df9867923adfd4d95

This week sees the moon finally giving way to dark skies but the meteor activity will be slow despite the absence of moonlight. Most of the activity this week is reserved for observers in the southern hemisphere as there are 3 active radiants in the southern constellation of Centaurus.

Milkyway over Santa Barbara

During this period the moon will hinder attempts to view meteor activity, especially during the more active morning hours. Later in the week the evening hours will be free of moonlight but activity at that time is expected to be very low.

fireball   Minnesota on September 12, 2014.

February is the start of the fireball season, when an abundance of fireballs seem to occur. This lasts well into April and seems to occur mostly during the early evening hours…


Perseid Meteors Source Lake by Wesley Liikane

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Monday January 26th. At this time the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and will set near midnight local standard time (LST) for observers located in mid-northern latitudes…

Perseid Meteor Shower seen over Mobius Arch, Alabama Hill (2013) - Kartik Ramanathan

This period is dominated by numerous weak radiants best observed during the morning hours. The moon reaches its new phase on Tuesday January 20th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and cannot be seen at night.

Meteor over Mercedes County Observatory, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011) @Luis Argerich - http://goo.gl/8hNvTm

Meteor over Mercedes County Observatory, Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011) @Luis Argerich – http://goo.gl/8hNvTm Radiant Positions at 8pm Local Standard Time from 40N Latitude Radiant Positions at Midnight Local Standard Time from 40N Latitude Radiant positions at 4am Local Standard TimeRead More >