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Today MS
Today's Meteor Activity

The 'Today's Meteor Activity' graphic shows the averaged daily Meteor Activity provided by the Radio Meteor Observing Bulletin (RMOB). It's updated every hour. This graphic is free for linking to from your own website by using this link


Now it's the time for one of the most popular meteor showers: the Perseids. Although this shower has proven to be very dynamic in recent years, (especially in the 1990s, due to the perihelion passage of their parent comet, 109P/Swift-Tuttle in 1992, having orbital period of about 130 years) more recently the meteor activity was mostly concentrated around the "normal" peak, with ZHR around 100 hr-1. Enhanced activity ahead of the usual maximum was last seen in 2007 (λsol=139.68 deg) andd behind the nodal position in 2008 (λsol=140.55 deg).

Recent IMO observations found that timing of "traditional" broad maximum varied between λsol=139.8 deg to 140.3 deg, equivalent to 2016 August 12, 08h UT to 22h UT. Node is at λsol=140.0-140.1 deg.
According to IMO, then the maximum in 2016 is expected to occur on August 12, most likely around 13h00m to 15h30m UT, with ZHR = 150 hr-1.

Calculations from Mikhail Maslov and Esko Lyytinen indicate thatwe will cross a part of the stream which was shifted closer to Earth's orbit by Jupiter in 2016. As a consequence, the background ZHR may reach a level of 150-160 hr-1.
On August 11, 22h34m UT the Earth should encounter small meteoroids of the 1-revolution trail, causing an increase of the ZHR by about 10. At 23h23m UT brighter meteors of the 4-revolution trail are expected.
According to calculations of Jeremie Vaubaillon, the densest part of the stream, dominated by meteoroids of the 2-revolution trail, is crossed between August 12, 00h to 04h UT (λsol=139.49 deg to 139.66 deg) well before the broad nodal maximum.

Of course, some minor showers will also be active in August, κ-Cygnids, daylight γ -Leonids and Aurigids being the most significant.
Last but not least, don't forget the great help given by Sporadic Meteors: their rates are very close to annual
maximum in August.

For Radio Observers, the (Theoretical) UT peaks for upcoming showers in August 2016 are as follows:

Active: July 17 - August 24
Maximum: August 12, 13h to 15h30m UT (λsol= 140.0 deg)
ZHR: HIGH (150 hr-1)

Active: August 03 - August 25
Maximum: August 17 (λsol= 145 deg)
ZHR: Low

γ-Leonids (Daytime shower)
Active: August 14 - September 12
Maximum: August 25 (λsol= 152.2 deg)
ZHR: Low

Active: August 28 - September 05
Maximum: August 31 (λsol= 158.6 deg)
ZHR: Low (6 hr-1)

(Source: IMO)


The Perseids Radiant is circumpolar (that means, is above horizon the entire day) for every observer northern of about 32 deg N latitude during shower activity.

For a Central Europe observer (say, in JN59 square and surroundings) the radiant is relatively low above horizon in late afternoon/early evening (15-18 UT) and rather high above horizon in early morning (03-06 UT). Optimal height of radiant above horizon for best radio efficiency can be found between 21 UT and 01 UT, and between 08 UT and 12 UT.

For the Central Europe observer mentioned above, the relative radiant position favors the radio paths in NE/SW direction in morning and early afternoon hours, and NW/SE direction during night hours. Best geometric efficiency direction Vs. Time around Perseids maximum can thus be summarized as follows:

Direction of radio path vs. Time for best efficiency (UT)

N/S: 8 - 11 and 23 - 02

NE/SW: 8 - 13

E/W: 10 - 13 and 20 - 23

NW/SE: 20 - 02

This calculation is valid for the center Europe observer as mentioned. Moving significantly away from that area will somewhat change the times for best efficiency, so this table should be used only for an approximate evaluation (although somehow valid for most Europe). Check your actual directions for best efficiency Vs. Time for your area, using tools like Virgo, OH5IY soft and so on. Please note that the above calculated efficiency applies better on Underdense trails ( that produce Pings), while Overdense trails ( that produce longer Bursts) are somewhat less dependent by geometry (radiant position with respect to direction of radio path).