Author: Robert Lunsford

Meteor Activity Outlook for 9-15 December 2017

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Sunday December 10th. At that time the half-illuminated moon will lie 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local standard time (LST) as seen from mid-northern latitudes. As the week progresses the waning moon will rise even later in the morning creating better viewing conditions.

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Meteor Activity Outlook for 2-8 December 2017

During this period the moon will reach its full phase on Sunday December 3rd. At that time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will lie above the horizon all night long as seen from the northern hemisphere. Later in this period the moon will rise during the late evening hours allowing a few hours of observing under dark skies between dusk and moon rise.

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Meteor Activity Outlook for 11-17 November 2017

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Saturday November 11th. At this time the half-illuminated moon will rise near midnight local standard time (LST) and will remain above the horizon the remainder of the night. The moon will be bright but successful meteor watches can be conducted if you face away from the lunar glare. Viewing circumstances improve with each passing night as the moon’s phase wanes and it rises later in the morning. 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 18 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 10 from the southern tropics. 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. Morning rates are reduced during this period due to interfering 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 brighter 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...

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Meteor Activity Outlook for 4-10 November 2017

During this period the moon will reach its full phase on Saturday November 4. At this time the bright moon will be above the horizon all night long and will severely limit the amount of meteor activity to be seen. As the week progresses the evening hours become more favorable for viewing as the moon rises later in the night. Unfortunately the evening hours are usually slow with rates rarely surpassing 5 per hour. This is a good time to try an catch a bright Taurid meteor or perhaps a rare Andromedid!

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