Meteor Activity Outlook for September 26-October 2, 2015

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Bright Perseid meteor over Edlingham Castle in Northumberland, England. August 12, 2013. © REXF.

Radiant Positions at 9pm LDT

Radiant Positions at 9pm Local Daylight Time

Radiant Positions at 1am Local Daylight Time

Radiant Positions at 1am Local Daylight Time

Radiant Positions at 5am Local Daylight Time

Radiant Positions at 5am Local Daylight Time

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Sunday September 27th. On that date the moon will be located opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long. This is the worse time of the month to try and view meteor activity as the bright moonlight will obscure all but the brighter meteors. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 1 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 6 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 4 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). These rates are reduced during this period due to interfering 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 September 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.

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week. Details of each source will resume next week when viewing conditions are more favorable.

RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
Southern Taurids (STA) Oct 10 01:28 (022) +06 29 02:00 1 – 1 II
September Epsilon Perseids (SPE) Sep 10 04:24 (066) +41 65 05:00 <1 – <1 II
Delta Aurigids (DAU) Sep 27 05:08 (077) +58 61 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
Orionids (ORI) Oct 22 05:24 (081) +09 66 06:00 1 – 1 I
Sep-Oct Lyncids (SOL) Sep 29 07:26 (111) +47 65 08:00 <1 – <1 IV
Daytime Sextantids (DSX) Sep 29 10:16 (154) -01 33 11:00 <1 – <1 IV


One comment

  • Jerry Niehuser 5 years ago

    Friday nightOctober 2 viewing from hot tub in Bend Oregon after 9:30 local time, we saw 5 meteors in 5 to ten minutes all from the same radiant in Pisces. About ten minutes later, we saw another from the same a radiant. We saw no others. Tonight, Oct 4, we saw only one meteor and it was from the same radiant.


    Reply to Jerry

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