Perseid Meteor Shower 2017: Aug. 11-12
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The Perseid meteor shower is a very popular annual event, with Perseid parties being held around the globe each year. Best seen from the northern hemisphere, the meteors will appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus – between the “W” of the constellation Cassiopeia, and the bright star Capella (see image above). Every year I see posts about this year’s shower being the “shower of the century” or it will be the “brightest shower in the recorded human history!” I’m not so sure about that this year… although the Perseids typically puts on a pretty good show at about 100 per hour, the waning gibbous Moon will be bright, and just to the east of the radiant; this will obscure many of the dimmer meteors. Peak: August 11-12 Active from: July 13th to August 26th Radiant: 03:12 +57.6° (see image above) Hourly Rate: 100 Velocity: 37 miles/sec (swift – 60km/sec) Parent Object: 109P/Swift-Tuttle Source: American Meteor Society … Continue reading

Southern Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower 2017
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The Southern Delta Aquariids is a strong shower best seen from the southern tropics. North of the equator, the radiant is located low in the southern sky – rates will be less than if seen from further south. This shower produces good rates for about a week centered on the night of maximum. These meteors are usually faint and lack persistent trains; few fireballs can be expected. Peak: July 29-30 Active from: July 21st to August 23rd Radiant: 22:40 -16.4° (see image above) Hourly Rate: 16 Velocity: 26 miles/sec (medium – 42km/sec) Parent Object: P/2008 Y12 The moon will be a waxing crescent, rising shortly after midnight. Source: American Meteor Society … Continue reading

Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower 2017
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The Eta Aquariids meteor shower appears strongest when when viewed from the southern tropics. From the equator northward, the shower typically produces only medium rates of 10-30 per hour just before dawn. Meteor activity is good for a week centered the night of peak activity. These meteors travel at a high rate of speed, and produce a good percentage of persistent trains, but few fireballs. Peak: May 6-7th Active from: April 19th to May 26th Radiant: 22:32 -1° (see image above) Hourly Rate: 55 Velocity: 42 miles/sec (swift – 66.9km/sec) Parent Object: 1P/Halley The moon will be a waxing gibbous, setting around 4:00 AM. Source: American Meteor Society … Continue reading

Lyrids Meteor Shower 2017
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The Lyrids meteor shower is a medium strength shower that typically produces good rates for three nights centered on the maximum. These meteors usually lack persistent trails, but have been known to produce fireballs. This shower is best seen from the northern hemisphere, where the radiant is high in the dawn sky. This shower can be seen from the southern hemisphere, but at a lower rate. Peak: April 21-22nd Active from: April 16th to April 25th Radiant: 18:04 +34° (see image above) Hourly Rate: 18 Velocity: 30 miles/sec (medium – 48.4km/sec) Parent Object: C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) The moon will be a waning crescent, rising shortly before dawn. Source: American Meteor Society … Continue reading