2019 Meteor Shower Dates And Viewing Tips By The Old Farmer's Almanac

Discussion in 'Astrology, Astronomy and Crop Circles' started by Susan Lynne Schwenger, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member



    AND VIEWING TIPS By The Old Farmer's Almanac
    The most common question is “Where can I see the meteor showers?”
    The answer is: ANYWHERE in the sky! Yes, for this type of celestial wonder, your specific location does not matter.
    And the next question is “When can I see the meteor showers?”
    The answer is: Most showers are midnight to dawn. Yes, they’re for you night owls or early risers. However, the famous Geminids are all night and some showers do happen in the late evening. See the chart below.

    Is there a meteor shower tonight? When is the next meteor shower?
    Note that the meteor shower dates do not change much from year to year. Find viewing tips for the two “biggies” here: the Perseid Meteor Shower and the Geminid Meteor Shower.
    Principal Meteor Showers​
    QuadrantidPredawnNJan. 425
    LyridPredawnSApr. 2210Thatcher
    Eta AquaridPredawnSEMay 410Halley
    Delta AquaridPredawnSJuly 3010
    PerseidPredawnNEAug. 11–1350Swift-Tuttle
    DraconidLate eveningNWOct. 96Giacobini-Zinner
    OrionidPredawnSOct. 21–2215Halley
    TauridLate eveningSNov. 93Encke
    LeonidPredawnSNov. 17–1810Tempel-Tuttle
    AndromedidLate eveningSNov. 25–275Biela
    GeminidAll nightNEDec. 13–1475
    UrsidPredawnNDec. 225Tuttle
    *May vary by one or two days **Moonless, rural sky Bold = most prominent​
    • “Predawn” means an hour or so before morning twilight.
    • Best time to view most major showers.
    • “Late evening” means approximately between 10 p.m. and midnight (or a little past).
    In general, most major meteor showers are best seen after midnight; some do not even appear until after then. Usually, a better time to see them is after 2 a.m.,
    and the best time is about an hour or so just before morning twilight.

    Geminids, however, can be seen starting earlier, such as around 9 or 10 p.m.,
    until morning twilight.

    Sometimes Draconids may be visible at nightfall through early evening.

    See the monthly Sky Watch for highlights of the night sky and a printable sky map!

    • For everyone, weather conditions and light pollution
    • are the only reasons you can not see the showers.
    • The sky needs to be dark and clear, away from all the city lights.
    • Bright moonlight, within a few days of a full Moon, will also reduce the number of meteors that you will see.
    • Where to look? The best place to start is between the radiant and the zenith (straight above you). The radiant is where the meteors appear to start from, such as the constellation Perseus, from which the Perseid meteor shower appears to radiate.
    • When to look? The time of the year for each shower is determined by when in Earth’s orbit it crosses the stream of meteoroids. On the chart below, see the “date of maximum,” which shows when meteor showers will be the strongest.
    • Note that the “best” viewing times are usually predawn and late evening. In nearly all showers, the radiant is highest just before dawn. (The Geminid meteor shower is visible all night long, since Gemini arises just an hour or two after nightfall; the radiant is highest a little after midnight.) Sporadic meteors (unrelated to a shower and commonly called shooting stars) can be seen on any night, but increase in frequency after midnight and peak just before dawn.
    • Starting around midnight, your location on the globe spins around to the forward-facing half of Earth (in relation to the direction of orbit).
    • At dawn, your location on the globe directly faces the direction in which Earth is traveling along its orbit. So between midnight and dawn, you’ll be viewing the meteors head-on, for a more frequent display.
    • You don’t need any special equipment. In fact, binoculars do not work for meteor showers. The naked eye is best.
    • Spread a blanket on the ground and look up into the dark night sky.
    For more information, click here to read our article, “What are Meteor Showers: Facts About Shooting Stars.”
  2. Susan Lynne Schwenger

    Susan Lynne Schwenger The Final Synthesis - isbn 978-0-9939480-0-8 Staff Member

    watch between midnight and dawn.
    Most meteor showers are best after midnight,
    After midnight, the part of Earth you're standing on has turned
    into the meteor stream, which means the radiant point
    for the shower will be above your horizon.
    ~susan lynne schwenger

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