2012 Geminids Recap

The 2012 Geminid meteor shower is now over. Dark Moon-less skies allowed for observers to get many hours of prime Geminid observing in. Here in southern Arizona the weather produced a different sort of showers on the night of the maximum as rain fell for the first time in a month. Luckily it was clear the night before maximum and rates were surprisingly strong.

The International Meteor Organization hosts a Live ZHR page that tabulated visual meteor observations from observers from all over the world and updates the shower’s activity profile in real-time. As of Dec 22, 133 observers in 36 countries reported 18,000 meteors.

Peak activity was predicted for 23:30 hours UT on December 13 making the peak effectively 0 hours UT on the 14th. From the ZHR profile below, the best rates did occur within a few hours of the predicted peak. At that time the ZHR reached ~120 meteors per hour. Even under less than perfect skies, a fine show was guaranteed.

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The IMO Live ZHR page also presents a map of the location of all 133 observers. I always find it interesting to see the distribution of meteor observers around the world. The radiant of the Geminids is located at a declination of +33° making this shower easier to see from the Northern Hemisphere. Though still visible from the latitudes of Australia, New Zealand and the middle of South America, the shower would be low on the northern horizon and rates would be much less than seen up north. Still a fair number of Southern Hemisphere observers reported meteors. It is nice to see many more observations coming in from across Asia especially in countries like Iran, India, Nepal and Thailand.

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Meteor Activity Outlook for December 15-21, 2012

The following is a slightly edited version of Bob Lunsford’s excellent weekly summary of meteor activity. The original version can be found at the American Meteor Society’s site.

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. This activity will be tempered by a bright moon during the first week of the month. The next two weeks are moon-free and offer the meteor observer ample opportunities to view some celestial fireworks. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 13. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year. Much of the activity mentioned above can also be seen from the southern hemisphere. While the sporadic rates are not as strong as those seen from the north, they are stronger than the previous months and heading for a maximum in February. The warm, but short summer nights south of the equator make for some great viewing as long as the moon does not interfere.

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Wednesday December 19th. At this time the moon is located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set near midnight local standard time (LST). This weekend the waxing crescent moon will set during the early evening hours and will not cause any problems to meteor observers. As the week progresses the moon will set later and later, but will still allow unhampered views of the more active morning sky. The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near four for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and three for observers in mid-southern latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near thirty from the mid-northern hemisphere and sixteen from the mid-southern hemisphere. 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 slightly reduced during the evening hours during this period due to moonlight.

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 December 15/16. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

The following showers are expected to be active this week:

Now that the activity from particles produced by comet 2P/Encke has ceased encountering the Earth, the Taurid showers for 2012 are over and we resume reporting activity from the Antihelion (ANT) radiant. This is not a true radiant but rather activity caused by the Earth’s motion through space. As the Earth revolves around the sun it encounters particles orbiting in a prograde motion that are approaching their perihelion point. They all appear to be radiating from an area near the opposition point of the sun, hence the name Antihelion. These were once recorded as separate showers throughout the year but it is now suggested to bin them into their category separate from true showers and sporadics. This radiant is a very large oval some thirty degrees wide by fifteen degrees high. Activity from this radiant can appear from more than one constellation. The position listed here is for the center of the radiant which is currently located at 06:28 (097) +23. This position lies in western Gemini near the third magnitude star Mebsuta (Epsilon Geminorum). Antihelion activity may also appear from eastern Taurus, northeastern Orion, or southern Auriga. This radiant is best placed near midnight LST when it lies on the meridian and is highest in the sky. Rates at this time should be near three per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and two per hour from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Antihelion meteor would be of slow velocity.

The December Monocerotids (MON) are active from December 7th through the 18th. Peak activity occurred on December 8th so current rates should be less than one per hour no matter your location. The radiant is located at 07:00 (105) +07. This position lies in eastern Monoceros, ten degrees east of the zero magnitude star Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris).  The Monocerotids are best seen near 0100 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 41 km/sec. the Monocerotids produce mostly meteors of medium velocity.

The Geminids (GEM) reached maximum activity on Thursday evening/Friday morning December 13/14. This weekend will be your last good opportunity to see any Geminids in 2012 as activity ceases next week. The radiant is currently located at 07:40 (115) +32, which places it in northeastern Gemini, just east of the second magnitude star Castor (Alpha Geminorum). Rates this weekend, when the radiant lies high in the sky, would be 20-40 per hour (depending on your viewing conditions) on the night of 14/15 and 10-20 per hour on the night of 15/16. Geminid meteors strike the atmosphere at 35km/sec, which will produce meteors of medium-slow velocity.

The Sigma Hydrids (HYD) are active from November 26 through December 20. Maximum activity occurred on December 6, so current rates would be near one per hour no matter your location. The radiant is located at 08:47 (132) +01. This position lies in western Hydra, just south of the group of fourth magnitude stars that make up the “head” of the water serpent. These meteors are best seen near 0300 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 61 km/sec. the Sigma Hydrids produce mostly swift meteors.

The December Leonis Minorids (DLM) are active from a radiant located at 10:32 (158) +32. This position lies in central Leo Minor, approximately ten degrees northeast of the third magnitude star Zeta Leonis. These meteors are best seen near 0500 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. This shower peaks on December 17th so current rates would be near two per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and less than one per hour as seen from south of the equator. At 64 km/sec. the December Leonis Minorids produce mostly swift meteors.

On the nights of December 19-21, weak activity from the Rho Leonids  (RLE) may be noticed. Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel of the IMO have found the actual activity range is December 17-23, but away from the nights mentioned above, the display is very weak. Previous radiants for this shower were further north. Video results give a position at maximum near 10:34 (159) -05. This actually places it in central Sextans, some fifteen degrees southeast of the first magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis). Rates could approach one shower member per hour during the last few hours before dawn on the nights previously mentioned. At 69 km/sec. the Rho Leonids would produce mostly swift meteors.

On the nights of December 15/16 and 16/17, weak activity from the Virgo/Corvus border may be noticed. This currently unnamed source is active from December 5-27, but incredibly weak except for the two nights mentioned above. The exact radiant position for IMO Shower #239 is 12:52 (193) -11. This places it some ten degrees west of the first magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis). At 70 km/sec. These meteors are best seen during the last dark hour before dawn, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. IMO Shower #239 would produce mostly swift meteors.

Another shower found by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel of the IMO are the December Sigma Virginids (DSV). This radiant is active through most of December and the first week of January. Visual observers have their best chance at catching these meteors from December 17 through January 1st. Maximum activity occurs on December 31st. The current radiant location is 13:32 (203) +05, which places it in northern Virgo some five degrees north of the third magnitude star Heze (Zeta Virginis). These meteors are best seen during the last dark hour before dawn, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. At 69 km/sec. the December Sigma Virginids would produce mostly swift meteors.

Activity from the Ursids (URS) should begin to appear during the mid-week period from a radiant located at 13:58 (210) +76. This position lies in eastern Ursa Minor, fifteen degrees east of the second magnitude star Kochab (Beta Ursa Minoris). It must be remembered that the length of degrees are smaller in high declinations so the radiant is actually closer to this star than these figures imply. These meteors are best seen during the last dark hour before dawn, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. This shower is not well seen from the southern hemisphere. Maximum activity is not expected until Saturday December 22th, so current hourly rates this week would probably be less than one. On the morning of maximum, hourly rates of between 5-10 Ursids may be seen. At 33 km/sec. the Ursids produce mostly medium-slow meteors.

Lastly, the December Alpha Draconids (DAD) are active from December 4-16. Maximum activity occurred on December 5. The radiant is currently located at 14:08 (212) +57. This position actually lies in northeastern Ursa Major, ten degrees northeast of the second magnitude double star Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris). These meteors are best seen during the last dark hour before dawn, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. This shower is not well seen from the southern hemisphere. Expected hourly rates would be less than one no matter your location. At 44 km/sec. the Alpha Draconids produce mostly medium speed meteors.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately eleven sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near three per hour. As seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45S), morning rates would be near seven per hour as seen from rural observing sites and two per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures. Evening rates are slightly reduced due to moonlight.

The list below presents a condensed version of the expected activity this week.
Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Antihelions (ANT) – 06:28 (097) +23   Velocity – 30km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 3 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – 2 per hr

Dec. Monocerotids (MON) – 07:00 (105) +07   Velocity – 41km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Geminids (GEM) -07:40 (115) +32   Velocity – 35km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 10 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – 5 per hr

Sigma Hydrids (HYD) -08:47 (132) +01   Velocity – 61km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – 1 per hr

December Leonis Minorids (DLM) – 10:32 (158) +32   Velocity – 64km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 2 per hr.  Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Rho Leonids (RLE) – 10:34 (159) -05   Velocity – 69km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr.  Southern Hemisphere – 1 per hr

IMO #239  – 12:52  (193) -11   Velocity – 69km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 2 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Dec. Sigma Virginids (DSV) – 13:32 (203) +05   Velocity – 44km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Ursids (URS)  – 13:58 (210) +76    Velocity – 33km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

December Alpha Draconids (DAD) – 14:08 (212) +57   Velocity – 44km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Clear Skies!
Robert Lunsford
American Meteor Society

Geminids Peak

The Geminids meteor shower was forecast to reach its peak last night (Dec. 13/14, Thu/Fri night). According to reports submitted to the International Meteor Organization, Zenithal Hourly Rates (ZHR) may have reached as high as 140-150 per hour around midnight last night Tucson time. This high peak seems to have been rather sharp and other observers recorded ZHRs in the 60-100 range.

ZHR rates for the 2012 Geminids from the IMO's Live ZHR page. Credit: International Meteor Organization.

ZHR rates for the 2012 Geminids from the IMO’s Live ZHR page. Credit: International Meteor Organization.

Here in Tucson we had a different kind of shower as it rained for the first time in a month. With ~0.58″ of rain last night it was the wettest event since late August. Luckily it does appear that Geminid rates on Wed/Thu night were almost, if not, as good as rates during the peak night. The Geminid rates routinely fall off rapidly after the peak so though some Geminids should be visible tonight rates may be much lower than the past two nights.

Salvador Aguirre operates an allsky fireball camera in Hermosilla, Sonora. The youtube video below is his compilation of meteors from Wed/Thu night. More can be seen on his blog.

Great Geminids Display Last Night

The Geminids aren’t expected to peak till tonight and yet last night they were definitely alive and kicking. In fact, I would rank last night’s display as one of the better (non-Leonid outburst) showers that I have ever seen. Makes me wonder if tonight will be even better or are the Geminids peaking early.

Tonight it is supposed to rain here in Tucson so I decided to make last night my dedicated Geminid watch night. Within about 2-3 minutes of stepping outside I had already seen 4 Geminids. Things were looking good. Between 8:08 and 10:26 UT (1:08 and 3:26 am local time) I counted 154 Geminids and 24 sporadics (really non-Geminids since I wasn’t keeping track of any of the other active showers) under a sky with a limiting magnitude of +6.1. The Geminids came in bunches. There were multiple occurrences of 3-4 Geminids visible within a span of 10-30 seconds. At the other extreme there were a few dry spells when no meteors were seen for about 4 minutes. The brightness of the Geminids also seemed to be patchy with 10-20 minutes of bright 0th to 2nd magnitude meteors followed by 10-20 minutes of only 3rd magnitude or fainter ones.

The best meteor of the night was not a Geminid but a nice -4 magnitude sporadic that flared a few times right in the middle of my view. Its motion was consistent with being a Sigma Hydrid, one of the lesser showers active last night.

The IMO’s Live ZHR graph showed the Geminids reaching a ZHR rate of ~110 meteor per hour last night.

The weather is expected to be bad for Tucson tonight so I doubt I’ll be able to watch. But for those of you under clear skies, the Geminids will surely put on a nice show. The best time to watch is between 10 pm and dawn. Though the meteors appear to radiate from the constellation of Gemini (from the northeast between 10 pm and midnight, overhead between midnight and 4am and from the northwest from 4am till dawn) the meteors can be seen anywhere in the sky. Where you look isn’t as important as finding a comfortable position (reclining chairs are the best) with an unobstructed view free from lights, buildings and trees. Also remember it is cold out there and meteor watching involves lots of sitting still so dress even warmer than you would otherwise.

Happy viewing!

See the Geminids this Week

The next few nights bring the peak the Geminids, one of the year’s better meteor showers. It’s usually a toss up as to which is better, the Perseids of August or the Geminids, though lately the Geminids have been routinely out-producing the Perseids. If the sky is clear it will provide one of the few nights of the year when it’s almost guaranteed that you will be able to observe a meteor after about 10-20 minutes of observing.

From a dark, moon-less sky, the Geminids have been known to consistently produce rates of over 100 meteors per hour at their peak. Unlike most showers that can only be observed in the early hours of the morning, the Geminids can be seen in good numbers as early as 10 pm and are great anytime after midnight. The Geminids will appear to radiate from the constellation of Gemini near the bright star Castor.

For observers in the US the best time should be Thursday/Friday night. Still a good display should be visible tonight (Wed/Thu night) as well. Last night (Tue/Wed night) rates reached a ZHR of ~30-40 per hour. Tonight rates should be even better, probably in the range of 40-60. Note that ZHR rates of 40-60 will only be visible to observers under very dark skies with the radiant overhead. Most of us will see lower rates due to light pollution. The brighter your sky the less meteors you’ll see.

For more information on observing the Geminids, check out Bob Lunsford’s post at the American Meteor Society.

The International Meteor Organization has a live real-time display of Geminid rates.

For more on Phaethon, the source asteroid of the Geminids, check out this NASA Science News report.

December 11 Meteors

Possible meteor activity from the 1947 dust trail of periodic comet 46P/Wirtanen was predicted for last night. I decided to go out and watch for an hour centered on the time of the expected peak (06:21 UT). Unfortunately no ‘Wirtanen-ids’ were seen. I did catch 8 Geminids and 5 sporadic (those not affiliated with any meteor shower, or at least none that I was monitoring) meteors. The highlight of the night was three meteors (1 Geminid and 2 sporadics) seen in rapid succession all within a span of 20 or so seconds.

So far there have been no reports of any ‘Wirtanen-id’. Bob Lunsford was also observing at nearly the same time as I was except he was observing in southern CA and he also did not see any activity.

It will be interesting to see if any activity is seen during the three remaining dust trail crossings: the 1941 trail at 10:20 UT on Dec. 12, the 1934 trail at 12:30 UT on Dec. 13 and the 1927 trail at 00:02 UT on Dec. 14. The Dec 12 and 13 crossings will not be visible from the United States while the Dec 14 crossing will be visible from the eastern US. Of course, our understanding of meteor trails and even the motion of 46P prior to its discovery in 1948 is not exact so it is possible that trail crossings might happen at other times, if at all.

Meteor Activity Outlook for December 8-14, 2012

The following is a slightly edited version of Bob Lunsford’s excellent weekly summary of meteor activity. The original version can be found at the American Meteor Society’s site.

No matter where you live, the first half of December provides some of the best meteor activity of the year. This activity will be tempered by a bright moon during the first week of the month. The next two weeks are moon-free and offer the meteor observer ample opportunities to view some celestial fireworks. In the northern hemisphere the sporadic rates are still strong plus you can also count on strong activity from the Geminids, which peak on December 13. There are also several minor radiants that add a few meteors each hour. All of these centers of activity are located high in the sky during the early morning hours this time of year. Much of the activity mentioned above can also be seen from the southern hemisphere. While the sporadic rates are not as strong as those seen from the north, they are stronger than the previous months and heading for a maximum in February. The warm, but short summer nights south of the equator make for some great viewing as long as the moon does not interfere.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Thursday December 13th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and will be invisible at night. This weekend the waning crescent moon will rise during the early morning hours. It will be a minor inconvenience that can be overcome by simply viewing with the moon at your back.  The estimated total hourly meteor rates for evening observers this week is near four for observers located at mid-northern latitudes and three for observers in mid-southern latitudes. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twenty from the mid-northern hemisphere and sixteen from the mid-southern hemisphere. 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 slightly reduced during the morning hours during this period due to moonlight.

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 December 8/9. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

The following showers are expected to be active this week:

Meteors from comet 46P\Wirtanen? There is the possibility that we may be able to see meteor activity from comet 46P\Wirtanen as the Earth passes through several filaments of material produced when the comet passed through perihelion during the first half of the 20th century. This is strictly an evening display as any meteors from this source would have a radiant of 23:48 (357) +04. This position lies in western Pisces, just east of the circle of faint stars known as the “Circlet”. This area of the sky is best seen as it becomes dark as it culminates between 1800 and 1900 (6pm and 7pm) local standard time. The first of these encounters is with the material shed in 1947. The expected peak is at 06:21 Universal Time (UT) on December 11th. This corresponds to 22:21 (10:21pm) PST and 23:21 (11:21pm) MST on Monday evening December 10th. The radiant is too low for any activity to be seen in the eastern half of North America. The second encounter is material from 1941. This peak is expected to occur at 10:20 UT on December 12th. This is too late for North America but observers in Hawaii may be able to see some of this activity. The third encounter is produced from the 1934 return. This peak is expected to occur at 12:30 UT on December 13th. This timing favors the western Pacific area. The last possible encounter is produced by the 1927 return. This peak is expected to occur at 00:02 UT on December 14th. This corresponds to 19:02 (7:02pm) EST and 18:02 (6:02pm) CST on the evening of December 13th. This timing favors the eastern half of North America. If any meteors are produced from this source, they would be extremely slow.

The last of the Northern Taurids (NTA) can be seen this weekend from a radiant centered at 05:26 (082) +27. This area of the sky lies in northeastern Taurus, two degrees south of the second magnitude star El Nath (Beta Tauri). The radiant is best placed near 0100 LST, when it lies highest above the horizon. Maximum activity occurred on November 13th so current hourly rates would be near one from the northern hemisphere and less than one from south of the equator. Meteors from the Northern Taurids strike the atmosphere at 29km/sec., which would produce meteors of slow velocity.

The Monocerotids (MON) are active from December 7th through the 18th. Peak activity occurs on December 8th with the radiant is located at 06:36 (099) +08. This position lies in northern Monoceros, eight degrees east of the first magnitude orange star Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). Current rates should be near one per hour no matter your location. The Monocerotids are best seen near 0100 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. At 41 km/sec. the Monocerotids produce mostly meteors of medium velocity.

The Geminids (GEM) reach maximum activity on Thursday evening/Friday morning December 13/14, when approximately 75 shower members can be seen each hour from rural observing sites. While the Geminids are currently the most active radiant in the sky, rates this weekend will only be near five shower members per hour. Rates will increase dramatically as we approach the maximum date and the moon wanes. The radiant is currently located at 07:14 (109) +33. This position lies in northern Gemini, four degrees west of the second magnitude star Castor (Alpha Geminorum).  Although Geminid meteors can be seen all night long, they are best seen near 0200 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. Geminid activity can be seen from the southern hemisphere but at much reduced rate. As seen from south of the equator, Geminid activity could only be seen for a few hours before and after 0200 LST. At 35 km/sec. the Geminids produce mostly meteors of medium velocity. This is one of the few displays that can be well seen prior to midnight. Geminid meteors seen just after dusk will be very long with a long duration. This is due to the fact that the radiant will lie near the horizon and any Geminid meteor seen be just be skimming the upper regions of the atmosphere. Therefore they will take longer to disintegrate in the much less dense portion of the atmosphere. Geminid meteors strike the atmosphere at 35km/sec, which will produce meteors of medium-slow velocity.

The Puppid-Velids (PUP) are a vast complex of weak radiants located in the constellations of Puppis and Vela. Visual plots and photographic studies have revealed many radiants in this area during November and December. The combined strength of these radiants can produce a zenith hourly rate (ZHR) of ten at maximum, which occurs near December 7. Actual hourly rates will be much less unless you happen to be observing from the deep Southern Hemisphere. The center of this activity is currently located at 08:08 (124) -45. This position lies in western Vela, three degrees northeast of the second magnitude star Gamma Velorum. These meteors are best seen near 0300 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Observers located in the Southern Hemisphere have an advantage viewing this shower as the radiant will rise higher into their sky allowing more activity to be seen. At 40 km/sec. the Puppid-Velids produce meteors of average velocity.

The Sigma Hydrids (HYD) are active from November 26 through December 20. Maximum activity occurred on December 6 and this radiant is currently the third most active in the sky. The radiant is located at 08:24 (126) +02. This position lies in western Hydra, just west of the group of fourth magnitude stars that make up the “head” of the water serpent. These meteors are best seen near 0300 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. Current rates would be near three per hour no matter your location. At 61 km/sec. the Sigma Hydrids produce mostly swift meteors.

The December Leonis Minorids (DLM) are active from a radiant located at 10:08 (152) +36. This position lies in central Leo Minor, approximately twelve degrees north of the third magnitude star Zeta Leonis. These meteors are best seen near 0500 LST when the radiant lies highest above the horizon. This shower peaks on December 17th so current rates would be near one per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and less than one per hour as seen from south of the equator. At 64 km/sec. the December Leonis Minorids produce mostly swift meteors.

Lastly, the December Alpha Draconids (DAD) are active from December 4-16. Maximum activity occurred on December 5. The radiant is currently located at 13:40 (205) +60. This position actually lies in northeastern Ursa Major, direct between the fourth magnitude star Thuban (Alpha Draconis) and the second magnitude double star Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris). These meteors are best seen during the last dark hour before dawn, when the radiant lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. This shower is not well seen from the southern hemisphere. Expected hourly rates would be less than one no matter your location. At 44 km/sec. the Alpha Draconids produce mostly medium speed meteors.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately seven sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near three per hour. As seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45S), morning rates would be near four per hour as seen from rural observing sites and two per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures. Morning rates are reduced due to moonlight.

The list below presents a condensed version of the expected activity this week.
Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Northern Taurids (NTA) -  05:26 (082) +27   Velocity – 29km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Dec. Monocerotids (MON) – 06:36 (099) +08   Velocity – 41km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – 1 per hr

Geminids (GEM) – 07:14 (109) +33   Velocity – 35km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 5 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – 3 per hr

Puppid-Velids (PUP) – 08:08 (124) -45   Velocity – 40km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – 5 per hr

Sigma Hydrids (HYD) – 08:24 (126) +02   Velocity – 61km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 3 per hr.   Southern Hemisphere – 3 per hr

December Leonis Minorids (DLM) – 10:08 (152) +36   Velocity – 64km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

December Alpha Draconids (DAD) – 13:40 (205) +60   Velocity – 44km/sec.
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr. Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hr

Clear Skies!
Robert Lunsford
American Meteor Society

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