The moon reaches its first quarter phase on Saturday November 4. At this
time it will be near the meridian at sunset and will set near midnight.
This leaves the prime morning hours free of any interfering moonlight.
Activity from the Taurid radiant will dominate the scene this week. Soon
afterward the moon will be too bright for observing and will not allow
decent viewing conditions until the Leonid maximum on November 17. The
positions listed below are exact for Saturday night/Sunday morning
November 4/5. The positions do not change greatly day to day so these
positions may be used during this entire period.
This week we start with a radiant listed among the showers of the Dutch
Meteor Society. The Delta Eridanids is a very weak radiant now situated
at 03:16 (049) -03. This position lies in northwestern Eridanus near the
borders of Cetus and Taurus. I would watch for these meteors after
moonset when the radiant lies near the meridian. This would be near
midnight this weekend and later as we enter next week. These meteors
would have characteristics similar to the Taurids. However with the low
rates I would be surprised if any of these meteors are actually seen.
The Antihelion radiant is centered at 03:52 (058) +20. This position
lies in western Taurus just 5 degrees southeast from the Pleiades
cluster. The bright planet Saturn is also a good guide as it lies only 3
degrees south this central position. This area of the sky is best placed
on the meridian near 0100 local standard time. The Taurid radiant are
now peaking in activity so as many as 5 meteors per hour may appear from
this source. These meteors will all appear slow no matter where they
appear in the sky. For those who report to the IMO the meteors from
northeastern Aries and northwestern Taurus should be labeled North
Taurids (NTA) and those meteors from southwestern Taurus and
southeastern Aries should be labeled South Taurids (STA).
The Orionids are now well past maximum activity but still producing a
few shower members each hour when located high in the sky. The radiant
position now lies at 07:00 (105) +17 which is in southern Gemini between
the bright stars Gamma and Lambda Geminorum. The radiant is not sharp
and there have been suggestions that subradiants are active nearby. The
radiant rises near 2100 LST (9:00 pm) but is best seen during the last
few hours before dawn when it lies high in the southern sky as seen from
northern latitudes. The Orionids are normally swift meteors but those
seen near the radiant or near the horizon will appear to travel more
The Zeta Puppids is another radiant listed among the showers of the
Dutch Meteor Society. The current radiant position is 07:24 (111) -40.
This position is in central Puppis 15 degrees northeast of the brilliant
star Canopus. Due to the southerly declination this shower would be
better seen from the Southern Hemisphere. It reaches its highest
elevation near 0400 so this would be the best time to try to see any
activity. This week the hourly rates could be near 2 for observers south
of the equator and less than 1 for observers in the north temperate
areas. Shower members would be slow if seen near the radiant or horizon
and medium speed if seen far from the radiant or high in the sky.
The Northern Apex is now located at 08:52 (133) +32. This position lies
in extreme northern Cancer. Since this radiant is diffuse any meteors
from the southern portion of Lynx, northeastern Gemini, northwestern
Leo, or northern Cancer would be a good candidate. As seen from the
Northern Hemisphere this source should still be quite active producing
4-5 meteors per hour near dawn. From the Southern Hemisphere this source
would be much lower in the sky and only producing 1-2 meteors per hour.
The Southern Apex source lies exactly 30 degrees south of its northern
counterpart at 08:52 (133) +02. This position lies in northwestern Hydra
just a few degrees south of the "head" of the water serpent. Any swift
meteor from western Hydra or southern Cancer has a good chance of being
from this source. As seen from the Northern Hemisphere this source
should produce 2-3 meteors per hour near dawn. Similar rates would be
seen from the Southern Hemisphere.
The Sporadic rates for the Northern Hemisphere are near their annual
maximum. The expected evening rates would be 2-3 per hour with
interference from the waxing moon. During the dark morning hours rates
could be as high as 10 as seen from rural sites. From the Southern
Hemisphere sporadic rates are at their annual low. This would correspond
to roughly 50-75% of the northern hourly rates.
IMO Secretary General