Meteor Activity Outlook for October 7-13, 2017

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This fireball was captured by Laurie Barnett on September 24, 2017 at 3:36 UT. The lighthouse is located at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina USA. The stars of Pisces and Aquarius can be seen in the cloud-free portions of the picture.

During this period the moon will reach its last quarter phase on Thursday October 12th. At this time the moon will be located 90 degrees west of the sun and will rise near 2300 local daylight saving time (LDT). This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the late evening hours creating difficult conditions to see meteor activity the remainder of the night due to the moon’s glare. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 for those viewing from the northern hemisphere and 2 for those located south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 13 as seen from mid-northern latitudes and 9 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 this week due to 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 night/Sunday morning October 7/8. 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 9pm LDT

Radiant Positions at 21:00
Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00
Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 5am LDT

Radiant Positions at 5:00
Local Daylight Saving Time

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

Details of each source will continue next week when viewing 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
October Draconids (DRA) Oct 08 17:32 (263) +56 21 19:00 <1 – <1 III
October Capricornids (OCC) Oct 02 20:32 (308) -09 10 22:00 <1 – <1 IV
Northern Taurids (NTA) Nov 02 01:32 (023) +14 28 02:00 1 – <1 II
Southern Taurids (STA) Oct 10, Oct 29-Nov 03 01:48 (027) +07 27 02:00 2 – 2 II
Orionids (ORI) Oct 22 05:28 (082) +16 67 05:00 3 – 2 I
nu Eridanids (NUE) Sep 08 06:02 (090) +09 67 06:00 <1 -<1 IV
epsilon Geminids (EGE) Oct 11 06:02 (090) +28 70 06:00 1 – <1 II
Daytime Sextantids (DSX) Sep 29 10:48 (162) -05 33 11:00 <1 – <1 IV
Oct. Camelopardalids (OCT) Oct 05 11:20 (170) +78 47 12:00 <1 – <1 IV

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2 comments

  • Val Inman 2 months ago

    Saw a white meteor at 9 pm north of Montoursville,PA

    Reply to Val
  • Ken Roche 2 months ago

    Stunning photograph! A light streaking across the dark sky, simultaneously with the light from a navigational beacon striking out over the ocean.
    This, I’ve never seen before. Such a sight, my congratulations Laurie and Bob, on such a visual combination.

    Reply to Ken

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