Meteor Outlook for March and April 2020

March a very quiet month for night time meteor hunters, April a bit less so.

In March, the γ-Normids (GNO) and π-Puppids (PPU) are a southern hemisphere event. Most of April’s showers are daytime, such as the April Piscids (APS), and have radiants close to the Sun. The Anthelion source also peaks during March and April but this isn’t really a shower. It refers to an oval area about thirty degrees in RA and fifteen in declination, centred a bit to the east of the point opposite the sun on the ecliptic from which several weak unnamed showers originate. Its not possible to identify a specific radiant for these meteors, and you’re best to just ID them as source=ANT!  There may be a weak peak around 17th March. If you run a radio detector you may pick up activity from these showers – if so please do send details to meteor@popastro.com.

Anthelion Source
The anthelion source location

The main event of April is the Lyrids (LYR) which peak on 22nd April at 07.00. The ZHR can be up to 90 but is predicted to be around 18 in 2020. The radiant will be high in the south-east and the Moon will be new, so we can hope for clear skies. A ZHR of 18 implies a visual rate of around six an hour given the position of the radiant and lack of moonlight.

2020 Lyrids
The location of the Lyrids

The Lyrids are followed by the η-Aquariids (ETA), which run from 19th April to mid May and peak in early May with a ZHR of 50. However the radiant rises very close to dawn, so don’t expect too much. On the plus side, the Moon won’t have risen!

If you spot an interesting event please email meteor@popastro.com or via @markmac99 on Twitter.

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