Meteor Activity Outlook for April 8-14, 2017

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fireball
Meteor over Washington DC – Aug. 13, 2015 (from Arlington, VA). © NASA/Joel Kowsky

During this period the moon reaches its full phase on Monday April 10th. At this time the moon is located opposite the sun and remains above the horizon all night long. This is the worst time of the month to try an view meteor activity as the bright moon will obscure all but the brightest meteors. Late in the period the hours just after dusk are free of moonlight but rates at this time are normally very low. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 2 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 4 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 6 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). Rates are reduced during this period due to lunar interference. 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 April 8/9. 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.

Radiant Positions at 9pm LDT

Radiant Positions at 9:00pm Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 1:00am Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 5am LDT

Radiant Positions at 5:00am Local Daylight Saving Time

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

Descriptions of each source will continue next week when lunar conditions are more favorable.

SHOWER DATE OF MAXIMUM ACTIVITY CELESTIAL POSITION ENTRY VELOCITY CULMINATION HOURLY RATE CLASS
RA (RA in Deg.) DEC Km/Sec Local Daylight Saving Time North-South
sigma Leonids (SLE) Apr 15 13:10 (197) +03 18 01:00 <1 – <1 IV
Anthelions (ANT) 14:08 (212) -13 30 02:00 2 – 2 II
zeta Cygnids (ZCY) Apr 05 20:12 (303) +41 40 08:00 <1 – <1 IV
delta Aquilids (DAL) Apr 09 20:32 (308) +12 63 08:00 <1 – <1 IV

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10 comments

  • Rezel 3 months ago

    We’re in California highway 152 between Gilroy and Los Banos when we saw it South of us. It was pretty big firing smoke and it look like broken up into little pieces and falling so fast.

    Reply to Rezel
  • Rezel 3 months ago

    It was really big. My first time to see that big and fire.

    Reply to Rezel
  • Destiny Danal 3 months ago

    Green meteor crossed over High desert east to west, large, maybe 10 seconds or more from our vantage point in Hesperia, ca, at approximately 2100 hrs.
    Thanks!

    Reply to Destiny
    • Clint 3 months ago

      Hi Destiny I too live in Hesperia and found what so far is proving to be a meteorite that landed in an aguave cactus of mine in my backyard.I found it 2 days after the April 11 fall as it left a burn pattern to its location on the cactus.Did you by any chance see any debris fall during your sighting? Im also looking for anyone who has experience in helping proceed with identification of this rock.Thanks

      Reply to Clint
  • Shelley Burgess 3 months ago

    Green Meteor crossed over Leesville/Gilbert part of Lake Murray tonight, 4/12/17 around 9:00 pm. It was moving rather slow with a long green/white tail, toward East direction.

    Reply to Shelley
    • Lemus 3 months ago

      That’s the one we saw and still dreaming with! We are in Mebane, NC

      Reply to Lemus
  • Hillary 3 months ago

    2 meteors seen yesterday morning between 6:30 and 6:45 AM in Webster, TX

    Reply to Hillary
  • Lemus 3 months ago

    April the 12th, 2017 at 844pm in Mebane, NC we saw this long meteor for about 15 seconds with a long tail and very bright. We thought we were dreaming because we had never seen something like that in our lives. It was amazing!

    Reply to Lemus
  • Ryan & Alicia 3 months ago

    Right next to Marineland in St Augustine, Florida on the beach (8:32 pm). Saw a bright meteor for about 20 seconds going North to South. About 1/3 of the way along it’s path, flashed bright white and then faded out of our view over the next 12-15 seconds. Beautiful!!!!!!

    Reply to Ryan
  • Shawhan 3 months ago

    Observed large green meteor with a white tail descending downward at a slow rate of speed in Southeastern Pennsylvania approx. 10:30pm EST April 13th, 2017.

    Reply to Shawhan

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