Meteor Activity Outlook for October 13-19, 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.

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active all month long with many minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are the big story of the month reaching maximum activity on the 22nd. This display can be seen equally well from both hemispheres which definitely helps out observers located in the sporadic-poor southern hemisphere this time of year.

During this period the moon reaches its new phase on Monday October 15th. At this time the moon is located near the sun and is invisible at night. As the week progresses the waxing crescent moon will enter the evening sky but will not interfere with meteor observing. 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 thirteen 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.

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 October 13/14. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

The following radiants are expected to be active this week:

The center of the large Southern Taurid (STA) radiant is currently located at 02:24 (036) +10. This position lies near on the Cetus/Aries border. The fourth magnitude star Xi 2 Ceti lies two degrees southeast from the center of the radiant. The radiant is so large that Southern Taurid activity may also appear from eastern Pisces, Aries, northern Cetus, northern Eridanus, and western Taurus. This radiant is best placed near 0200 local daylight time (LDT), when it lies on the meridian and is located highest in the sky. Maximum occurred on October 9th, but rates remain near maximum levels of three per hour for a week after this date. With an entry velocity of 29 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor would be of slow velocity.

The Orionids (ORI) are producing 3-5 shower members per hour during the last few hours before dawn, when the radiant lies highest in the sky. The radiant is currently located at 06:00 (090) +16, which is in the northeastern Orion, eight degrees northwest of the brilliant first magnitude orange star Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). Orionid meteors are equally well seen either side of the equator. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be swift. Maximum activity is predicted to occur on the 22nd when hourly rates should be near twenty.

The Epsilon Geminids (EGE) are active all month long with low hourly rates. Even at maximum activity only three shower members per hour are expected. Recent research by the IMO has indicated an earlier maximum of October 15th, rather than October 19th. The radiant position is currently located at 06:27 (097) +29. This position actually lies within the borders of Auriga, just east of the faint star Kappa Aurigae. The radiant is also best placed during the last dark hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates would be near two per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere and less than one per hour as seen south of the equator. With an entry velocity of 70 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be swift.

Studies of the IMO’s video database by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel has revealed a radiant active in Lynx this time of year. Earlier visual observations of this activity placed the radiant in eastern Auriga. Therefore the radiant is known as the Psi Aurigids (PSA). This radiant is active from October 8-18, with maximum activity occurring on the 12th. The radiant drift is not well established as positions jump around quite a bit during its ten day activity period. At maximum the radiant is located at 07:36 (113) +47. This position lies in a remote area of central Lynx. The nearest bright star is second magnitude Castor (Alpha Geminorum), which lies fifteen degrees to the south. This is a weak display and even at maximum activity rates would most likely be less than one shower member per hour, no matter you location. With an entry velocity of 68 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be swift.

Studies of the IMO’s video database by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel has also revealed a radiant active in Ursa Major this time of year. The October Ursae Majorids (OCU). are active from October 15-20, with maximum activity occurring on the 16th. At maximum the radiant is located at 09:36 (144) +65. This position lies in western Ursa Major, near the faint star 23 Ursae Majoris. This area of the sky is best placed during the last hour before morning twilight, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. At maximum activity rates would most likely be 1-2 per hour. Due to the high northern location of this radiant, these meteors are not well seen from the southern hemisphere. With an entry velocity of 54km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be medium-swift.

The Leonis Minorids (LMI) are active from October 16-27 with maximum activity occurring on October 23rd. Hourly rates would be less than one this week. This radiant is currently located at 10:16 (154) +38, which places it in northern Leo Minor, two degrees northwest of the fourth magnitude star Beta Leonis Minoris . The radiant is best placed just before dawn when it lies highest in a dark sky. This shower is better situated for observers situated in the northern hemisphere where the radiant rises far higher into the sky before the start of morning twilight. At 60km/sec., the average Leonis Minorid is swift.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately ten 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 five 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.

The list below presents a summary of the expected activity this week. Rates and
positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning, but may be used all week.

Southern Taurids (STA) – 02:24 (036) +10   Velocity 29km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – 3 per hr   Southern Hemisphere – 3 per hour

Orionids (ORI) 06:00 (090) +16   Velocity 67km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – 4 per hr    Southern Hemisphere – 4 per hour

Epsilon Geminids (EGE) 06:27 (097) +29   Velocity 70km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – 2 per hr   Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hour

Psi Aurigids (PSA) 07:36 (114) +47 Velocity 68km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hour

October Ursae Majorids (OCU)  – 09:36 (144) +65   Velocity 54km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – 1 per hr Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hour

Leonis Minorids (LMI)  – 10:16 (154) +38   Velocity 60km/sec
Northern Hemisphere – <1 per hr Southern Hemisphere – <1 per hour

Clear Skies!
Robert Lunsford
American Meteor Society

 

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 15-21, 2011

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.

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active most of the month along with many minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are the big story of the month reaching maximum activity on the 22nd. This display can be seen equally well from both hemispheres which definitely helps out observers located in the sporadic-poor southern hemisphere this time of year.

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Thursday October 20th. At this time the moon will lie ninety degrees west of the sun and will rise near midnight local daylight time (LDT). This weekend the waning gibbous moon will rise during the early evening hours and will effectively ruin the late evening and early morning hours with intense moonlight. One could watch for meteors during the early evening hours between dusk and moonrise. Unfortunately at this time of night activity will be low. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near two as seen from the northern hemisphere and one as seen from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near eight as seen from mid-northern latitudes and six from mid-southern latitudes. 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 during this period due to the intense 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 October 15/16. These positions do not change greatly day to day so the listed coordinates may be used during this entire period.

Detailed descriptions of each shower will continue when the moonlight situation improves.The following showers are expected to be active this week:

Rates and positions are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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
STA Southern Taurids      02h 27m  +10    27     1     1 
SSA Sigma Arietids        03h 10m  +22    46    <1    <1
ZTA Zeta Taurids          05h 19m  +12    67    <1    <1
ORI Orionids              06h 06m  +16    61     2     2
OCU October Ursa Majorids 09h 42m  +63    53    <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

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 23-29, 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.

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active most of the month along with several minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are usually the big story of the month but this year the Orionid peak coincides with the full moon, which will severely reduce the number of meteors seen. Orionid activity can be seen before and after maximum when the moon is not so troublesome. Unfortunately on these nights the Orionid rates will be low, most likely less than five per hour.

During this period the moon is full on the 23rd and wanes toward last quarter, which is reached on the 30th. The bright moon will make observing meteors difficult as only the brightest ones can be seen in the lunar glare. Those viewing under transparent skies will have better success as the moonlight will be less scattered. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near four from the northern hemisphere and two for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twelve from the northern hemisphere and nine 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. Rates are reduced this week due to lunar interference.

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 October 23/24. 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. The detailed descriptions will be continued next week when the moonlight is not as intense.

Shower Name                 RA     DEC   Vel     Rates
                                         km/s   NH    SH
OUI October Ursa Minorids 18h 12m  +74    28    <1    <1
NTA Northern Taurids      02h 52m  +20    29     1    <1
STA Southern Taurids      02h 32m  +11    30     2     2
ETT Eta Taurids           04h 00m  +24    47    <1    <1
ORI Orionids              06h 32m  +16    67     5     5
EGE Epsilon Geminids      07h 04m  +27    70    <1    <1
BCN Beta Cancrids         07h 12m  -03    65    <1    <1
LMI Leonis Minorids       10h 48m  +36    60    <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

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 16-22, 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.

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active most of the month along with several minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are usually the big story of the month but this year the Orionid peak coincides with the full moon, which will severely reduce the number of meteors seen. Orionid activity can be seen before and after maximum when the moon is not so troublesome. Unfortunately on these nights the Orionid rates will be low, most likely less than five per hour.

During this period the moon waxes from just past its first quarter phase to nearly full at the end of the period. This weekend the waxing gibbous moon will set during the early morning hours and will allow a couple of hours of dark skies before the beginning of twilight. This window of opportunity will shrink as the week progresses becoming essentially zero by the end of the week. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is near three from the northern hemisphere and two for observers south of the equator. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be near twenty four from the northern hemisphere and twelve 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. Evening rates are reduced this week due to lunar interference.

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 October 16/17. 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:

October Ursa Minorids (OUI)

Studies of the IMO video database by Sirko Molau and Juergen Rendtel has revealed a radiant located in Draco this time of year. Earlier visual observations placed the radiant in Ursa Minor therefore this shower is known as the October Ursa Minorids (OUI). This shower is active from October 16-28 with maximum occurring on the 24th. The moon will greatly hamper observations of this shower, especially near maximum on the 24th. On Saturday evening the radiant is located at 18:44 (281) +76. This position lies in western Draco some fifteen degrees south (above) Polaris (Alpha Ursae Minoris). Although the radiant is circumpolar (never sets) for most of the northern hemisphere, it is best placed as soon as it becomes dark. Striking the atmosphere at 28 km/sec., the average October Ursa Minorid meteor travels medium-slow through the sky. This shower is best seen from high northern latitudes. It is almost impossible to see from the southern hemisphere. Even at maximum, rates should be less than one per hour no matter your location.

Northern Taurids (NTA)

Recent studies of the IMO video database has revealed that activity from the Northern Taurids (NTA) does not begin until October 19th. This is nearly one month after pervious published dates. Maximum activity does not occur until November 13th so current rates will be low, lower than its southern counterpart until late in the month. The current radiant position lies near 02:28 (037) +18, which is located in central Aries, six degrees southeast of the second magnitude star Hamal (Alpha Arietis). The radiant is best placed near 0200 local daylight time (LDT), when it lies highest above the horizon. Meteors from the Northern Taurids strike the atmosphere at 29km/sec., which would produce meteors of slow velocity. Expected rates would be near one per hour, no matter your location.

Southern Taurids (STA)

The center of the large Southern Taurid (STA) radiant lies at 02:32 (038) +10. This position lies on the Aries/Cetus border, three degrees west of the fourth magnitude star Mu Ceti. Since the radiant is so large, any meteor from eastern Pisces, northeastern Cetus, Aries, western Taurus, or northeastern Eridanus could be a candidate for this shower. The radiant is best placed near the meridian near 0200 LDT, but activity may be seen all night long. Although maximum activity occurred on the 10th, this is a flat plateau-like peak so activity should still be good this week. Expect to see up to three Southern Taurids per hour, no matter your location, when the radiant lies highest in the sky. Striking the atmosphere at 29 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor travels slowly through the skies. This shower is also responsible for many of the fireball reports seen in October.

Sigma Arietids (SSA)

Another shower derived from the IMO video database is the Sigma Arietids (SSA). This shower is active from October 12-19 with a peak on the 19th. The radiant is located at 03:16 (049) +22. This position lies in eastern Aries, four degrees northeast of the fourth magnitude star Delta Arietis. The radiant is best placed near 0300 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. Rates should less than one per hour. With an entry velocity of 46 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of medium velocity. These meteors are well seen from all but the polar regions of the Earth.

Zeta Taurids (ZTA)

Another shower derived from the IMO video database is the Zeta Taurids (ZTA). This shower is active from October 12-17 with a peak on the 16th. The radiant is located at 05:26 (081) +11. This position actually lies in Orion, three degrees northwest of the third magnitude star Lambda Orionis. The radiant is best placed near 0500 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. Rates should less than one per hour. With an entry velocity of 61 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be swift. These meteors would be seen equally well from either hemisphere.

Orionids (ORI)

The Orionids (ORI) reach maximum activity on Friday October 22nd. Unfortunately a nearby full moon will spoil the display. The radiant is currently located at 06:08 (092) +16. This position lies in northeastern Orion, very close to the fourth magnitude star Nu Orionis. The radiant rises near 300 LDT and is best placed on the meridian near 0500. Current rates for all locations would be near three to five per hour as seen after midnight. At 67km/sec., the average Orionid is swift.

Epsilon Geminids (EGE)

The Epsilon Geminids (EGE) are active from October 16th through the 27th. Maximum activity occurs on the 19th. The radiant is currently located at 06:40 (100) +29. This position lies on the Gemini/Auriga border, four degrees northwest of the third magnitude star Mebsuta (Epsilon Geminorum). This position is also close to the Orionid radiant. Care must taken for correct shower association. The Orionids will be far more numerous. Current rates are probably near one per hour for the northern hemisphere and less than one as seen from south of the equator. The radiant is best placed near 0600 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. At 70km/sec., the average Epsilon Geminid is swift.

October  Ura Majorids (OCU)

Another shower derived from the IMO video database is the October Ursa Majorids (OCU). This shower is active from October 12-19 with a peak on the 15th. On the 12th the radiant is located at 09:52 (148) +63. This position lies in western Ursa Major, fifteen degrees west of the second magnitude star Dubhe (Alpha Ursae Majoris). The radiant is best placed during the last dark hour before dawn when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates should less than one per hour. With an entry velocity of 53 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be medium-swift. With the high northern declination of the radiant, these meteors are best seen from the northern hemisphere. It would be difficult to see any of this activity from locations south of the equator.

Leonis Minorids (LMI)

The Leonis Minorids (LMI) are active from October 16-27 with maximum activity occurring on October 23rd. ZHR’s are usually low but the radiant is far removed from the Orionids and Epsilon Geminids so that any possible shower members should be easily identified. Hourly rates would be less than one this week. This radiant is currently located at 10:16 (154) +35, which places it in northeastern Leo Minor, two degrees southwest of the fourth magnitude star Beta Leonis Minoris. The radiant is best placed just before dawn when it lies highest in a dark sky. This shower is better situated for observers situated in the northern hemisphere where the radiant rises far higher into the sky before the start of morning twilight. At 60km/sec., the average Leonis Minorid is swift.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see approximately fifteen 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 four per hour as seen from rural observing sites and one per hour during the evening hours. Locations between these two extremes would see activity between the listed figures. Evening 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.

Shower Name                 RA     DEC   Vel     Rates
                                         km/s   NH    SH
OUI October Ursa Minorids 18h 44m  +76    28    <1    <1
NTA Northern Taurids      02h 28m  +18    29     1     1
STA Southern Taurids      02h 32m  +10    30     3     3
SSA Sigma Arietids        03h 16m  +22    46    <1    <1
ZTA Zeta Taurids          05h 26m  +11    61    <1    <1
ORI Orionids              06h 08m  +16    67     2     2
EGE Epsilon Geminids      06h 40m  +29    70     1    <1 
OCU October Ursa Majorids 09h 12m  +64    53     1    <1
LMI Leonis Minorids       10h 16m  +35    60    <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

Oct 9/10/11/12 Meteors

The “meteor” sky is starting to get busy. There are at least 6 showers producing activity at this time. Though most of these showers are minor, a few (like the two Taurid streams and the Orionids) are producing multiple video meteors per night.

The table below summarizes results from the past 3 nights. The first 2 nights were hampered by persistent cirrus which suppressed meteor rates. The last night was mostly clear though rates should have been higher. As it turned out, I had one of the parameters for the MetRec detection code set wrong. This probably cost me 10-20% of last night’s meteors.

Since the last meteor summary, 2 additional showers have become active. For more on these showers (the Zeta Taurids and the October Ursa Majorids), see Bob Lunsford’s Meteor Activity Outlook for this week.

Obs Date (UT)  TotTime TOT SPO NTA STA ORI EPC ZTA OCU
TUS 2009-10-12 09h 51m  29  16  2   2   7   1   1   0
TUS 2009-10-11 08h 13m  10  7   1   2   1   0   -   -
TUS 2009-10-10 09h 51m  9   4   2   1   2   0   -   -

TUS – Camera in Tucson operated by Carl Hergenrother
SDG – Camera in San Diego operated by Bob Lunsford
TotTime – Total amount of time each camera looked for meteors
TOT – Total number of meteors detected
SPO – Sporadics (meteors not affiliated with any particular meteor shower)
NTA – Northern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
STA – Southern Taurids (includes Antihelions)
ORI – Orionids
EPC – September Epsilon Piscids
ZTA – Zeta Taurids
OCU – October Ursa Majorids

Meteor Activity Outlook for October 10-16, 2009

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.

Meteor activity in general increases in October when compared to September. A major shower (the Orionids) is active most of the month along with several minor showers. Both branches of the Taurids become more active as the month progresses, providing slow, graceful meteors to the nighttime scene. The Orionids are the big story of the month reaching maximum activity on the 22nd. This display can be seen equally well from both hemispheres which definitely helps out observers located in the sporadic-poor southern hemisphere this time of year.

During this period the moon reaches its last quarter phase on Sunday October 11th. At this time the moon rises near 0100 local daylight time (LDT) and remains in the sky the remainder of the night. The situation improves as the week progresses with the moon waning into a crescent phase and rising later in the night with each passing morning. The estimated total hourly rates for evening observers this week is ~4 as seen from the northern hemisphere and ~2 from the southern hemisphere. For morning observers the estimated total hourly rates should be ~15 from the northern hemisphere and ~10 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. Morning rates are reduced by moonlight.

The radiant positions and rates listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning October 10/11. 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.

A recent study of video radiants by Sirko Molau has revealed a radiant in Pisces active from October 7-11. Maximum activity occurs on the 9th from a radiant located at 0:05 (001) +14. This position is located on the Pisces/Pegasus border, three degrees southwest of the 3rd magnitude star Algenib (Gamma Pegasi). The radiant is best placed near 0100 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. Meteors from the October Epsilon Piscids (OPC) strike the atmosphere at only 19km/sec., which would produce slow moving meteors. Expected rates would be < 1 per hour, no matter your location.

The center of the large Southern Taurid (STA) radiant lies at 02:10 (032) +09. This position lies on the Pisces/Cetus border, one degree west of the fourth magnitude star Xi Ceti. Since the radiant is so large, any meteor from eastern Pisces, northern Cetus, or southwestern Aries could be a candidate for this shower. The radiant is best placed near the meridian at 0200 LDT, but activity may be seen all night long. Striking the atmosphere at 29 km/sec., the average Southern Taurid meteor travels slowly through the skies. Rates should be ~3 per hour no matter your location.

A new radiant has been discovered in Aries which is active during this period. The Sigma Arietids (SSA) are active from October 12-19, with maximum occurring on the 19th. The current radiant position lies at 02:52 (043) +22, which lies in eastern Aries, six degrees south of the faint star 41 Arietis. The radiant is best placed near 0300 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. Meteors from the Sigma Arietids strike the atmosphere at 45km/sec., which would produce meteors of average velocity. Expected rates would be < 1 per hour, no matter your location.

Another new radiant has been discovered in Taurus which is active during this period. The Zeta Taurids (ZTA) are active from October 12-17, with maximum occurring on the 16th. The current radiant position lies at 05:06 (076) +15, which lies on the Taurus/Orion border, six degrees east of the bright first magnitude orange star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri). The radiant is best placed near 0500 LDT, when it lies highest above the horizon. Meteors from the Zeta Taurids strike the atmosphere at 61km/sec., which would produce meteors of swift velocity. Expected rates would be < 1 per hour, no matter your location.

The Orionids (ORI) are now becoming more active from a radiant located at 05:50 (87) +15. This position lies on the Orion/Taurus border, seven degrees north of the orange first magnitude star Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis). The radiant rises near 2300 LDT and is best placed on the meridian near 0600. With maximum activity predicted for October 22, current rates for all locations would be ~2-3 per hour as seen after midnight. At 66km/sec., the average Orionid is swift.

Activity from Ursa Major this time of year has been known for several years now. Recent studies by Sirko Molau has provided more precise data on this activity. The October Ursa Majorids (OCU) are active from October 12-19, with maximum occurring on the 15th. The current radiant position lies at 09:12 (138) +63, which lies in western Ursa Major, two degrees west of the faint star 23 Ursae Majoris. The radiant is best placed during the last dark hour before the start of morning twilight, when it highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Meteors from the October Ursa Majorids strike the atmosphere at 53km/sec., which would produce meteors of medium-swift velocity.

Expected rates would be less than one per hour, no matter your location. This
activity is not visible from the southern hemisphere due to the high northerly declination of the radiant.

As seen from the mid-northern hemisphere (45N) one would expect to see ~8 Sporadic meteors per hour during the last hour before dawn as seen from rural observing sites. Evening rates would be near four per hour. As seen from the mid-southern hemisphere (45S), morning rates would be near two 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. Rates are reduced during the morning hours 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 except for showers of short duration, when the position on the night of maximum is listed.

Shower Name               RA   DEC Vel    Rates
                                   km/s  NH   SH
OPC Oct ε-Piscids       00h05m +14  19   <1   <1
STA Southern Taurids    02h10m +09  29    3    3
SSA Sigma Arietids      02h52m +22  45   <1   <1
ZTA Zeta Taurids        05h06m +15  61   <1   <1
ORI Orionids            05h50m +15  67    3    3
OCU Oct. Ursa Majords   09h12m +63  53   <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
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