Meteor Activity Outlook for June 19-25, 2010

The Meteor Activity Outlook is a weekly summary of expected meteor activity written by Robert Lunsford, Operations Manager of the American Meteor Society and contributor to this blog. The original unedited version of this week’s Meteor Activity Outlook can be found at the American Meteor Society’s site.

June is another slow month for meteor activity. There are no major showers active in June and only the Antihelion source can be counted on for continuous activity. Even the Antihelion is located so far south this time of year that rates rarely exceed two per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere. Sporadic rates reach their nadir in June as seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45 N). Sporadic rates seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45 S) continue to rise this month toward a maximum in July.

During this period the moon reaches its first quarter phase on Saturday June 19th. At this time the moon will be located ninety degrees east of the sun and will set near 0100 for observers located in mid-northern latitudes. Next week the waxing gibbous moon will set later and later, shrinking the window of opportunity to view in optimum, dark conditions. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is ~2 for those in the northern hemisphere and ~3 for those south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be ~8 from the northern hemisphere and ~18 as seen from the 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.

The radiant positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning June 19/20. 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:

June Bootids (JBO)

Perhaps a few June Bootids (JBO) may be seen this week during the evening hours, radiating from a position near 14h:44m (221) +49. This area of the sky lies in northern Bootes, ten degrees northwest of the fourth magnitude star Beta Bootis. This radiant is best placed as soon as it becomes dark. Rates at this time should be less than one for those located in the northern hemisphere and near zero for observers south of the equator. Maximum activity is expected on June 27th. With an entry velocity of 18 km/sec., the average June Bootid meteor would be of very slow speed.

Antihelions (ANT)

The wide Antihelion (ANT) radiant is now centered at 18h:44m (281) -23. This area of the sky lies in western Sagittarius some four degrees northeast of the third magnitude star Kaus Borealis (Lambda Sagittarii). This radiant is best placed near 0200 local daylight time (LDT) when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Due to the large size of this radiant, any meteor radiating from southern Ophiuchus, southern Serpens Cauda, Sagittarius, Scutum, or southwestern Aquila could be a candidate for this shower. Rates at this time should be near one per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and two per hour as seen from south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 30 km/sec., the average Antihelion meteor would be of medium-slow speed.

Delta Piscids (DPI)

Recent studies of the IMO video database by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel have revealed an active radiant in Pisces this time of year. The Delta Piscids (DPI) are only active for five nights (June 20-24) with maximum activity occurring on June 23rd. On that morning the radiant is located at 00h:44m (011) +06. This area of the sky is located in central Pisces near the fourth magnitude star Delta Piscium. This radiant is best placed during the last hour before dawn when it lies highest in a dark sky. Even at maximum activity hourly rates are expected to be less than one. This shower would be better seen from locations south of the equator where the nights are longer and the radiant would located higher in the eastern sky at the start of morning twilight. With an entry velocity of 71 km/sec., the average Delta Piscid meteor would be swift.

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

Shower Name                RA     DEC   Vel     Rates
                                        km/s   NH    SH
JBO June Bootids         14h 44m  +49    18    <1     0
ANT Antihelions          18h 44m  -23    30     1     2
DPI Delta Piscids        00h 44m  +06    71    <1    <1

RA - Right Ascension
DEC - Declination
Vel - Velocity relative to Earth (in km per sec)
Rates - Rate of visible meteors per hour from a
        dark site
NH - Northern Hemisphere
SH - Southern Hemisphere

About Carl Hergenrother
I am a professional astronomer specializing in the study of comets, asteroids and meteors. This blog will focus on my professional and amateur work in this field

11 Responses to Meteor Activity Outlook for June 19-25, 2010

  1. Kira says:

    On June 19th 2010 at around 1 am a group of us camping in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada saw an amazing fireball shoot across the sky. I have seen many shooting stars in my time but this was nothing like that. It was large and made a wide bright white path with a trail of light! I’m trying to find out what exactly it was and who else saw it. I don’t know much about these things but now I’m very curious…

    • Stevie says:

      I live in Cyprus and exactly the same thing has just happened to me. I have logged on to see if there was anything scheduled to happen tonight and literally have come across this. What I just saw, happened exactly like you’ve explained it. The moon was pretty close by, which made it just like nothing I have ever seen before. It must have been like a comet or something passing quite close to the earth. The bright light was visable for at least 30-45seconds and the trail for at least 2-3minutes. As well as you, I have seen many, many shooting stars…some of which have lasted up to 5 seconds but this was just amazing.

  2. Bill says:

    We saw two amazing (what we think are meteors) in the wester sky from Clevealnd ohio on June 20th. It was about 9 at night (not long after dusk) and the two objects moved very slowly across the sky. Very long tails on both. Azimuth was about 286 when we first saw them, and about 280 when they went out.

  3. Melanie says:

    Last night, in NE Pennsylvania, 6/24/10, just before 10 pm, we saw a spectacular fireball and I have been trying to find out what it might have been. This site has been useful as well as interesting.

    • brian says:

      I too saw an amazing fireball Thursday night. We are about 50 miles north-northwest of Phila. It was big & bright. The ball was white & yellow and had a very long and wide tail of blue & white. At first I thought it was a local fireworks gone bad. Has anyone heard anything about it?

    • Eric says:

      I too saw the fireball in Greensburg, Pa. It started out as green then purple, blue, and finally silver. It was followed by a yellow flame. This has happened around 10 p.m. on 6/24/10. My friend also saw it too so ik that im not going crazy haha. Well keep on commenting and let us know your storys

  4. שמחות says:

    שמחות – הפורטל הגדול למתחתנים בישראל חתונה,אולמות,גני אירועים,מוסיקה לאירועים,צילום,מתחתנים,כלה,שמלה.

  5. Delores Franklin says:

    i saw the same thing. We were sitting in a hot tub in Taneytown, Md. when the sky lit up and a huge ball of actually sizzled as it flew by. It had a blue and yellow tail. It was quite amazing. Does anyone know exactly what it was or called?

  6. laur says:

    i saw it too! i live in ne pa also and i am trying to figure out what exactly fell from the sky that night. has anyone come to any conclusions?

  7. Etienne says:

    Can somebody please assist. I live in Johannesburg, South Afica, and would love to see this comet. Where and when the is the suited times to look at this “monster”?

  8. Dee says:

    I definitely saw something in the sky last night at about 3am (I’m in Ashburn VA)! It was amazing! It was so large/ close, I was able to see so much detail. You could actually see the ball flying in a left downward diagonal (eastern sky), and the tail had actual bright sparkles (like fireworks!). I’ve seen shooting stars, but nothing compared to this!

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