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Sunday, August 11, 2013

 

Southern Hemisphere Perseid Update 11-13 August 2103

Perseid radiant as seen from Darwin at 5:00 am local time, August the 13th, looking north.

Just a reminder that the Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on the morning of Tuesday August 13 between 4:15 am-6:45 am AEST (that's August 12, 18h15m to 20h45m UT).

Despite this being a quite reasonable meteor shower in the Northern Hemisphere, for most of Australia and a large chunk of the Southern Hemisphere the radiant is below the horizon, and only the very occasional meteor will be seen shooting up from the northern horizon.

Basically, anywhere south of the latitude of Brisbane (27.3 degrees South) will see few, if any, meteors. That includes about 2/3rds of Australia, New Zealand, a large chunk of South Africa and most of Argentina, Chile an Uruguy.

Rates from representative locations in northern Australia, observing hints and a link to the Meteor Flux Estimator are in my previous Perseid post.

Some sites have reported disappointing meteor rates so far, but the International Meteor Organisations Live Meteor rate chart looks like it's heading for the usual peak (compare with 2012 and 2011).

For a bit of amusement, as you get up at 3:30 am in the cold and dark to watch for meteors shooting up from below the northern horizon, here's the XKCD list of important meteor showers.

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