(meteorobs) Meteor Activity Outlook for July 14-20, 2006

Robert Lunsford lunro.imo.usa at cox.net
Thu Jul 13 18:56:12 EDT 2006

During July observers in the northern hemisphere witness a surge in meteor
activity, especially during the second half of the month. The source of this
increase is increased sporadic rates along with several showers located
opposite the sun. The Perseids also become active in mid-July with
increasing rates as the Earth nears the August 12 maximum. During the first
week of the month, observers south of the equator are enjoying some of their
best rates of the year. This activity is produced by the strongest sporadic
rates of the year and the fact that the Antihelion radiant is positioned
well south of the celestial equator this time of year. During the second
half of the month the sporadic rates begin to plummet and are the equal of
rates seen in the northern hemisphere by the end of the month.

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Monday July
17. This weekend the waning gibbous moon will be present in the sky most of
the night, limiting the meteor activity to be seen. As the week progresses
conditions improve as the moon rises later in the morning and also becomes
less illuminated. The sources of meteors listed below are active during this
period but will be difficult to observe. If your sky is transparent and the
limiting magnitude exceeds +5.0, then you may be able to achieve some
success at observing during this period. The key during this period would be
to keep the bright moon out of your field of view. The estimated total
hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three no matter your
location. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be
near eight for those located in the Northern Hemisphere and twelve for those
in the Southern Hemisphere. These rates assume that you are watching from
rural areas away from all sources of light pollution. 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 this week due to intense moonlight.

The full descriptions will continue next week when the moon is not such a
nuisance to observers.

Alpha Capricornids (CAP) 19:32 (293) -14
Northern Hemisphere 1 - Southern Hemisphere 1

Antihelion (ANT) - 20:16 (304) -18
Northern Hemisphere 2 - Southern Hemisphere 3

South Delta Aquarids (SDA) 21:56 (329) -19
Northern Hemisphere 1 - Southern Hemisphere 1

Piscis Austrinids (PAU) 21:56 (329) -34
Northern Hemisphere >1 - Southern Hemisphere >1

Perseids (PER) 00:20 (005) +50
Northern Hemisphere 1 - Southern Hemisphere >1

*For a detailed explanation on the different classes of meteor showers and
other astronomical terms, please visit:

Clear Skies!
Robert Lunsford
American Meteor Society

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