Meteor Outlook for September and October 2020

September’s showers are once again impacted by the Moon. The Aurigids peak on 31st August just before the Full Moon, and so will be best viewed before dawn when the radiant will be high in the East. A week later, on 10th September, the peak of the eta-Perseids which will be best viewed before moonrise at 23:00 when the radiant will again be high in the East. Both showers have rates of five or six per hour.

In late September you may see a few Daytime Sextantids at dawn or dusk and radio observers should pick them up during the day. The radiant of this shower will be quite close to Venus in the pre-dawn sky.

In October, the Draconids peak on the 8th with an hourly rate of about ten and are best observed in the evening before moonrise when the radiant will be high in the West. Conversely, the Orionids peak on 22nd with an hourly rate of five and are best observed after midnight once the radiant has risen in the East.

There are a few other weak showers: the Eta Geminids peak on 18th Oct, the Southern Taurids on 10th Oct, the Leonis Minorids on 24th Oct and the Northern Taurids, active from 20th Oct through into November. These showers have rates of under five.

Remember if you do spot something interesting to send details to meteor@popastro.com

2 thoughts on “Meteor Outlook for September and October 2020

  • 27th September 2020 at 2:41 pm
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    Hello, i couldn’t find a place for general comments and questions (possiblly as i’m on an old Nokia phone), and as i love meteors i came across this bit. So i hope it’s ok to ask here- do you know where i can find a list of all the nearest stars, let’s say up to 100 light years away? Thanks very much, Rowan

    Reply
    • 27th September 2020 at 6:56 pm
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      Hi Rowan, sorry you couldn’t find somewhere for general questions. There is a link to the forum on the SPA homepage but its not obvious and its not clear which board you would ask this question in.

      There are ~800-1000 stars within 100 ly. Just within about 25ly there are over 100 – there’s a list here
      https://www.astronomynotes.com/tables/tablesc.htm
      and also the 100 brightest. Many of the nearest stars are pretty dim.

      I don’t know of any specific list of the total within 100 ly, but you could generate one from the GAIA database (https://gea.esac.esa.int/archive/) However it would not be simple as GAIA measures distance in terms of parallax!

      Reply

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