During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Tuesday April 15th. At this time the moon will lie opposite the sun and will be above the horizon all night long. Observers in the western hemisphere who have clear skies on Monday night/Tuesday morning might try viewing meteor activity during the total phase of the lunar eclipse that night. The total phase will last 78 minutes and during this period the moon will be darkened by the Earth’s shadow and faint stars (and meteors) can be seen. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 1 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 2 for observers viewing from the southern tropics (latitude 25 S.). For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 4 for observers situated at mid-northern latitudes and 6 for observers viewing 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. 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 Britain. 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 April 12/13. 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 nightGlendale.
The detailed listings of active radiants will continue next week when glare from the bright moon will be less troublesome for viewing meteor activity.
The table below presents a list of radiants that are expected to be active this week. Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning.
|SHOWER||DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY||CELESTIAL POSITION||ENTRY VELOCITY||CULMINATION||HOURLY RATE||CLASS|
|RA (RA in Deg.) DEC||Km/Sec||Local Daylight Time||North-South|
|Pi Puppids (PUP)||Apr 23||07:00 (105) -44||18||19:00||<1 – <1||III|
|Anthelions (ANT)||–||14:24 (216) -14||29||02:00||1 – 1||II|
|IMO #59||Apr 16||19:20 (288) +36||45||07:00||<1 – <1||IV|
|Nu Cygnids (NCY)||Apr 18||20:20 (305) +41||44||08:00||<1 – <1||IV|