(meteorobs) Meteor Activity Outlook for Feb 6-12, 2004

The moon reaches its last quarter phase on Friday February 13 and will be
located ninety degrees west of the sun at this time. This weekend and for
the remainder of this period, the moon will be present in the early morning
sky, limiting the meteor activity to be seen. 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
estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week should be near
two for all observers no matter your location. For morning observers the
estimated total hourly rates should be near three for those located in the
Northern Hemisphere and four 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 greatly reduced this
week due to intense moonlight.

The positions listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning
February 7/8. The positions do not change greatly day to day so these
positions may be used during this entire period. Most star atlases
(available at science stores and libraries) 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 location. Meteor activity is not seen from radiants that
are located below the horizon. The radiants below are listed in a west to
east manner in order of right ascension (celestial longitude). The radiants
listed first are located further west therefore are accessible earlier in
the night while those listed last rise later in the night. This list also
provides the order of ascending velocity for each radiant with those listed
first usually being much slower than those last on the list. Velocity should
not be the prime factor for shower association as all showers can produce
slow meteors. Slow meteors can be produced from normally swift showers, such
as the Leonids, when meteors appear near the radiant or close to the
horizon. The true velocity is only revealed in shower members seen far from
the radiant and high in the sky.

The detailed descriptions of each shower will return next week when
moonlight becomes less of a factor.

Delta Velids                       08:32  (128)   -50
Alpha Hydrids                   10:00  (150)   -18
Antihelion (Virginids)         10:12  (153)   +10
Omicron Centaurids          11:24  (171)    -53
Theta Centaurids               13:28  (202)   -38
Alpha Centaurids               14:08  (212)   -60
Northern Apex                  15:12  (228)   -02
Southern Apex                   15:12  (228)   -32

Clear Skies!
Robert Lunsford
AMS Operations Manager

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