Meteor Activity Outlook for July 6-12, 2019

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       Christian Koll captured this fine fireball at 21:42 Universal Time on June 28, 2019 from Litzlham, Oberösterreich, Austria. © Christian Koll

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Tuesday July 9th. On that date the moon is located 90 degrees east of the sun and sets near 0100 local daylight saving time (LDST). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the late evening hours and will not cause any problems for viewing meteor activity during the more active morning hours. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near 3 no matter your location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near 10 as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45N) and 11 as seen from tropical southern locations (25S). 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. Evening rates are reduced during this period 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 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 6/7. 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 22:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 22:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 01:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 1:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

Radiant Positions at 04:00 LDST

Radiant Positions at 4:00 Local Daylight Saving Time

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

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 18:49 (282) -15, which places it in southern Scutum, 4 degrees east of the dim star known as gamma Scuti. This radiant is best placed near midnight local standard time (LDST), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Hourly rates at this time should be less than 1 no matter your location. 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 19:52 (298) -21. This position lies in eastern Sagittarius, 8 degrees southwest of the 3rd magnitude star known as Dabih (beta¹ Capricorni). Due to the large size of this radiant, anthelion activity may also appear from western Capricornus as well as Sagittarius. This radiant is best placed near 0100 (LDST), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near 2 per hour as seen from mid-northern latitudes (45 N) and 3 per hour as seen from the southern tropics (S 25). With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average anthelion meteor would be of slow velocity.

The Northern June Aquilids (NZC) are active from a radiant located at 20:54 (314) -04. This area of the sky is located in western Aquarius, 8 degrees west of the 3rd magnitude star known as Sadalsuud (beta Aquarii A). This radiant is best placed near 0200 LDST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Hourly rates at this time should be near 2 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 38 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of medium-slow velocity. An interesting fact about this source is that it may be related to the Northern delta Aquariids of August. Where and when this source ends coincides with the start and position of the Northern delta Aquariids.

The Southern June Aquilids (SZC) were discovered by G. Gartrell and W. G. Elford, in their study of Southern Hemisphere meteor streams. This stream is active from June 9 through July 17 with maximum activity occurring on July 6. The radiant is currently located at 21:22 (320) -27. This area of the sky is actually located on the border of Capricornus and Piscis Austrinus, 4 degrees south of the 4th magnitude star known as zeta Capricorni A. This radiant is best placed near 0300 LDST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Hourly rates at this time are expected to be near 1 as seen from the northern hemisphere and 2 as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 39 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of medium-slow velocity. This source is synonymous with the Microscopiids.

The epsilon Pegasids (EPG) were discovered by Dr. Peter Brown and associates using data from the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) installation. These meteors are active from July 03-23 with maximum activity occurring on July 11th. The radiant position currently lies at 21:47 (327) +12. This area of the sky lies in western Pegasus, 2 degrees north of the 2nd magnitude star known as Enif (epsilon Pegasi). These meteors are best seen near 0300 LDST when the radiant lies highest in the sky. Hourly rates are expected to be near 1 no matter your location. With an entry velocity of 28 kilometers per second, a majority of these meteors will appear to move with medium-slow 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 have positively identified this source as an active radiant during the entire month of July. Maximum activity occurs on July 10th. The radiant is currently located at 23:02 (345) +10. This area of the sky is located in southern Pegasus, 5 degrees south of the 2nd magnitude star known as Markab (alpha Pegasi). This radiant is best placed near 0400 LDST, when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the 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 49 Andromedids (FAN) were discovered by Željko Andreić and the Croatian Meteor Network team based on studying SonotaCo and CMN observations (SonotaCo 2007-2011, CMN 2007-2010). These meteors are active from July 6 through August 14 with maximum activity occurring on July 21. The current position of the radiant is 00:41 (010) +43. This position lies in northern Andromeda, only 1 degree north of the naked eye Andromeda Galaxy. Rates are currently expected to be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. These meteors are best seen near during the last dark hour of the night when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky.With an entry velocity of 60 km/sec., the average meteor from this source would be of swift speed.

The psi Cassiopeiids (PCA) were 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 00:39 (010) +69. This position lies in northern Cassiopeia, directly between the stars gamma Cassiopeiae and gamma Cephei. Rates are currently expected to be less than 1 per hour no matter your location. These meteors are best seen near during the last dark hour of the night when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. With an entry velocity of 42 km/sec., the average psi Cassiopeiid meteor would be of medium speed.

The phi Piscids (PPS) were another discovery by Dr. Peter Brown and associates using data from the Canadian Meteor Orbit Radar (CMOR) installation. These meteors are active from June 8-August 02 with maximum activity occurring on July 5th. The radiant position currently lies at 01:16 (019) +26. This area of the sky lies in northeastern Pisces, 5 degrees northeast of the 4th magnitude star known as eta Andromedae. These meteors are best seen near during the last dark hour of the night when the radiant lies highest in a dark sky. Current rates should be near 2 per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and 1 as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 67 kilometers per second, a majority of these meteors will appear to move with swift velocities.

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 through July 27 with maximum activity occurring on July 9. The radiant currently lies at 01:46 (026) +47, which places it in northern Andromeda, 2 degrees south of the 4th magnitude star known as Nembus (51 Andromedae). 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 should be near 1 per hour for observers in the northern hemisphere and less than 1 for observers in the southern hemisphere. 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 through August 1 with maximum activity occurring on July 13. The radiant currently lies at 01:58 (030) +07, which places it in southeastern Pisces, 4 degrees north of the 4th magnitude star known as Alrescha (alpha  Piscium A). 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 near 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.

Sporadic rates have evened out at this time with morning rates near 8 per hour and evening rates near 2 no matter your location. Evening rates are reduced during this period due to moonlight.

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.

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
alpha Capricornids (CAP) Jul 27 18:49 (282) -15 22 01:00 <1 – <1 II
Anthelion (ANT) 19:52 (298) -21 30 02:00 2 – 3 II
Northern June Aquilids (NZC) Jul 03 20:54 (314) -04 41 03:00 2 – 2 IV
Southern June Aquilids (SZC) Jul 06 21:22 (320) -27 39 04:00 1 – 2 IV
epsilon Pegasids (EPG) Jun 15 21:07 (316) +04 33 04:00 <1 – <1 IV
July Pegasids (JPE) Jul 11 21:24 (321) +09 28 04:00 <1 – <1 IV
psi Cassiopeiids (PCA) Jul 22 00:39 (010) +69 42 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
49 Andromedids (FAN) Jul 21 00:41 (010) +43 60 06:00 <1 – <1 IV
phi Piscids (PPS) Jul 05 01:16 (019) +26 67 07:00 2 – 1 IV
c-Andromedids (CAN) Jul 09 01:46 (026) +47 58 08:00 1 – <1 IV
July chi Arietids (JXA) Jul 13 01:58 (030) +07 69 08:00 1 – 1 IV

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One comment

  • Dave 3 months ago

    Saw a blue flash and circular image about 20 minutes ago from the Fort Worth Eastern Sky. 7/7/2019 It was pretty wild.

    Reply to Dave

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