Month: April 2016

Meteor Activity Outlook for 30 April-6 May 2016

  Radiant Positions at 9pm Local Summer Time Radiant Positions at 1am Local Summer Time Radiant Positions at 5am Local Summer Time During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Saturday April 30th. On that date the moon will be located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near 0200 local summer time (LST) for most locations in the mid-northern latitudes. As the week progresses the moon’s phase will wane and it will rise later and later with each passing night. Late in the week it will be located too close to the sun to cause any interference at night. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for observers located in the northern hemisphere and 4 for observers located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 8 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 15 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). Morning rates are slightly 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...

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Good observing conditions for the Eta Aquariids in 2016

The CMOR radar map today (28 April) already marks a distinct activity from the Eta Aquariids radiant. This shower of swift meteors (66 km/s) is associated with the famous comet 1P/Halley (also parent of the October Orionids) and can be best observed from southern latitudes. Meteor observers at the northern hemisphere can observe Eta Aquariids in the last hours of the night before dawn. Maximum activity is expected around 5 May but the stream structure may produce some submaxima. In 2013 this stream surprised observers with ZHR’s up to 60-80, twice as much as normal. With New Moon on...

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Fireball of 13 April 2016 at 00h29m22s UT over Russia

Nikita Kulanov reports about a fireball over Russia, brighter than the Full Moon captured by the URSA network in Finland as well as from Russia and Sweden. A little before dusk, the sky lit up and lightened the landscape in blue light for a moment: a spectacular fireball appeared! Esko Lyytinen calculated that the fireball entered into the atmosphere at about 90 km at a speed of 20,6 km/s at a very steep angle of 80°. The initial mass should have been in the order of 5 to 50kg and any fragments that dropped to the Earth surface probably...

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CAMS@Benelux captures a fair Lyrid activity

The first 4 Lyrid orbits of 2016 were collected in the night of 17-18 April 2016 when in total 84 orbits were collected by the Benelux CAMS network. The nights of 19-20 and 20-21 April produced much better Lyrid rates. For 19-20 April 110 orbits were collected among which several Lyrids, the night of 20-21 April hasn’t been completely collected yet. A couple of Lyrids captured in recent nights are displayed in Figures 1 and 2. The maximum activity is expected to occur on April 22 at 6h UT. After a period of very low meteor activity, rates are increasing...

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