During this period the moon will reach its new phase on Sunday July 23. At this time the moon will be located near the sun and will be invisible at night. As the week progresses the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will not interfere with meteor observing. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 4 for those viewing from the northern hemisphere and 3 for those located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 17 no matter your location. 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 July 22/23. 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 far 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.

Radiant Positions at 10pm LDT

Radiant Positions at 23:00 Local Summer Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 Local Summer Time

Radiant Positions at 4am LDT

Radiant Positions at 3:00 Local Summer Time

These sources of meteoric activity are expected to be active this week.

.

The gamma Draconids (GDR) were first noticed by Japanese observers using SonotoCo and the IMO’s network team of Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel in 2009. This stream is active from July 22-30 with maximum activity occurring on July 28. The radiant is currently located at 18:40 (280) +50, which places it in southeastern Draco, 8 degrees southeast of the 2nd magnitude star known as Eltanin (gamma Draconis). The radiant also lies 12 degrees due north of the brilliant zero magnitude star Vega (alpha Lyrae). This radiant is best placed near midnight local summer time (LST), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 28 km/sec., the average gamma Draconid meteor would be of slow velocity. Last year this stream produced an strong outburst that lasted approximately 1 hour. If a repeat performance occurs this year it will most likely occur near 06:00 Universal Time on July 28, which is equivalent to 2:00am EDT. This timing favors all of North America. Some researchers feel these meteors are related to the kappa Cygnids, which are active next month.

The alpha Capricornids (CAP) are active from July 3 through August 11 with maximum activity occurring during the last week of July. The broad maximum occurs anywhere from July 25 to the 30th with visual rates usually around 3 per hour. The radiant is currently located at 19:56 (299) -11, which places it in southeastern Aquila, 5 degrees northwest of the naked eye double star known as Algedi (alpha 2 Capricorni). This radiant is best placed near 0100 LST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 22 km/sec., the average alpha Cap meteor would be of slow velocity.

The center of the large Anthelion (ANT) radiant is currently located at 20:52 (313) -17. This position lies in northern Capricornus, 3 degrees west of the 4th magnitude star known as Dorsum (theta Capricorni). Due to the large size of this radiant, Anthelion activity may also appear from western Aquarius, eastern Sagittarius, and southeastern Aquila as well as Capricornus. This radiant is best placed near 0200 LST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Hourly rates at this time should be near 1 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 2 as seen from tropical southern latitudes. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Anthelion meteor would be of medium-slow velocity.

The Northern delta Aquariids (NDA) are active from July 23 through August 27. The radiant is currently located at 21:48 (327) -06. This position is located in western Aquarius, 4 degrees east of the 3rd magnitude star known as Sadalsuud (beta Aquarii). Maximum activity is not expected until August 14, so hourly rates will low at this time. The radiant is best placed near 0300 LDT, when it lies highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 38 km/sec., these meteors would be of medium velocities. This shower seems to be a continuation of the Northern June Aquilids, which has been active since early June.

The Southern delta Aquariids (SDA) are now active from a radiant located at 22:36 (339) -19. This position is located in southwestern Aquarius, 5 degrees southwest of the 3rd magnitude star known as Skat (delta Aquarii). Maximum activity is expected on July 30th. Hourly rates will depend on your latitude. Those viewing from the southern tropics will see the best rates of near 2-3 per hour. Rates seen from mid-northern latitudes will range from 1-2 per hour, depending on the haziness of your skies. The radiant rises near 2200 (10pm) LDT for observers located in the mid northern latitudes, but is best placed near 0300 LST, when it lies highest in the sky. With an entry velocity of 41 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of average velocities.

The July Pegasids (JPE) have been noticed for some time now but have had a checkered history. It has been added, dropped, and then re-added to several radiant lists. Video studies within the past 10 years has positively identified this source as an active radiant during the entire month of July. Maximum activity occurred on July 10th. The radiant is currently located at 23:54 (359) +14. This area of the sky is located in southeastern Pegasus, 4 degrees southwest of the 3rd magnitude star known as Algenib (gamma Pegasi). This area of the sky is best seen during the last dark hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Rates are expected to be near 1 per hour this week no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 68 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity.

The Perseids (PER) are active from a radiant located at 01:12 (018) +52. This position is not is Perseus, rather it lies in southern Cassiopeia, 7 degrees southeast of the 2nd magnitude star known as Schedar (alpha Cassiopeiae). This area of the sky is best placed for viewing during the last dark hour before dawn when it lies highest in the sky. Maximum is not until August 12 so current rates are expected to be near 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and 1 as seen from south of the equator. Unfortunately these meteors are not well seen from the southern hemisphere. With an entry velocity of 59 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity.

The 49 Andromedids (FAN) were discovered by Željko Andreić et al of the Croatian Meteor Network, using databases from SonotaCo, 2013 and CMN, 2013). These meteors are active from July 6 through August 14 with maximum activity occurring on July 21. The current position of the radiant is 01:50 (027) +49. This position lies in extreme northeastern Andromeda, just east of the 4th magnitude star known as 51 Andromedae. This area of the sky is best placed for viewing during the last dark hour before dawn when it lies highest in the sky. Rates are currently expected to be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 60 km/sec., the average 49 Andromedid meteor would be of swift speed.

The eta Eridanids (ERI) were discovered by Japanese observers back in 2001. Activity from this stream is seen from July 23 though September 17 with maximum activity occurring on August 11. The radiant currently lies at 01:52 (028) -18, which places it in southern Cetus, 3 degrees southeast of the 4th magnitude star known as tau Ceti. This area of the sky is best seen during the last dark hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Current rates are expected to be less than 1 per hour during this period no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 65 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity.

The phi Piscids (PPS) were also discovered by Dr. Peter Brown and associates. This shower was later verified by Dr. Peter Jenniskens and David Holman using data from the CAMS network in northern California. These meteors are active from June 8 through August 2 with maximum activity occurring on July 5. The current position of the radiant is 02:18 (035) +32. This position lies in central Triangulum, just south of the 3rd magnitude star known as gamma Trianguli. This area of the sky is best placed for viewing during the last dark hour before dawn when it lies highest in the sky. Rates are currently expected to be less than 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 66 km/sec., the average phi Piscid meteor would be of swift speed.

The psi Cassiopeiids (PCA) were also discovered by Zdenek Sekanina in his study of radio streams. These meteors are active from July 5 through August 7 with maximum activity occurring on July 22. The current position of the radiant is 02:26 (037) +74. This position lies in eastern Cassiopeia, 2 degrees northeast of the faint star known as 50 Cassiopeiae. This area of the sky is best placed for viewing during the last dark hour before dawn when it lies highest in the sky. Rates are currently expected to be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 42 km/sec., the average psi Cassiopeiid meteor would be of medium speed. Note that current radar activity charts provided by Dr. Peter Brown show a very large, strong radiant for this shower located closer to 00:50 (013) +64, just north of 2nd magnitude gamma Cassiopeiae. Unfortunately radar is most sensitive to meteors that are too faint to be seen with the naked eye. Therefore any of this activity from either radiant is most likely to be faint.

The c-Andromedids (CAN) were discovered by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel using video data from the IMO network. Activity from this source is seen from June 26 though July 27 with maximum activity occurring on July 9. The radiant currently lies at 02:58 (044) +53, which places it in northwestern Perseus, close to the 4th magnitude star known as tau Persei. This area of the sky is best seen during the last dark hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Observers in the northern hemisphere are better situated to view this activity as the radiant rises much higher in the sky before dawn compared to southern latitudes. Current rates would most likely be less than 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 58 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity.

The July chi Arietids (JXA) were discovered by two investigating teams in Europe using video data from European video Meteor Network Database (EDMOND), SonotaCo, 2013; and CMN, 2013. Activity from this stream is seen from July 2 though August 1 with maximum activity occurring on July 13. The radiant currently lies at 03:00 (045) +12, which places it in southeastern Aries, 4 degrees northeast of the 4th magnitude star known as mu Ceti. This area of the sky is best seen during the last dark hour before dawn when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Current rates are expected to be less than 1 per hour during this period. With an entry velocity of 69 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift velocity.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately 10 sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near 3 per hour. As seen from the tropical southern latitudes (25S), morning rates would be near 9 per hour as seen from rural observing sites and 2 per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity betwe9n the listed figures.

The list below offers the information from above in tabular form. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning except where noted in the shower descriptions.

SHOWERDATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITYCELESTIAL POSITIONENTRY VELOCITYCULMINATIONHOURLY RATECLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DECKm/SecLocal Summer TimeNorth-South
gamma Draconids (GDR)Jul 2818:40 (280) +502800:00<1 – <1IV
alpha Capricornids (CAP)Jul 2719:56 (299) -112201:002 – 2II
Anthelions (ANT)20:52 (313) -173002:001 – 2III
Northern delta Aquariids (NDA)Aug 1421:48 (327) -063803:00<1 – <1IV
Southern delta Aquariids (SDA)Jul 3022:36 (339) -194104:002 – 3I
July Pegasids (JPE)Jul 1023:54 (359) +146805:00<1 – <1IV
Perseids (PER)Aug 1201:12 (018) +525906:002 – 1I
49 Andromedids (FAN)Jul 2101:50 (027) +496007:00<1 – <1IV
eta Eridanids (ERI)Aug 1101:52 (028) -186507:00<1 – <1IV
phi Piscids (PPS)Jul 0502:18 (035) +326608:00<1 – <1IV
psi Cassiopeiids (PCA)Jul 2202:26 (037) +744208:00<1 – <1IV
c-Andromedids (CAN)Jul 0902:58 (044) +535808:00<1 – <1IV
July chi Arietids (JXA)Jul 1303:00 (045) +126908:00<1 – <1IV