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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


Relatively high rates of sporadic meteors and a fairly good shower (with potential surprises on some others) make this period pretty attractive.

At the beginning of the month, have a look to October Camelopardalids. Short video outbursts were first recorded in 2005 and 2006 on October 5-6 (near λsol=193 degs). Estimated ZHR was about 5 hr-1 with annual peak at λsol=192.58 degs. Enhanced activity was then found at the predicted position on 2016 October 5, in radio and video observations, and on 2018 October 6 (λsol=192.45 degs). Surprises are possible, because the stream is either a long period one with an atypically wide 1-revolution trail, or we still have to encounter the densest part of the trail.

Draconids are a periodic shower which produced spectacular storms (as in 1933 and 1946) and huge outbursts as in 2011 (ZHR around 300 hr-1). A wholly unexpected outburst of faint radio meteors took place in 2012, while the 2018 return, as the stream's parent comet (21P / Giacobini-Zinner) reached perihelion on 2018 September 10, yelded a ZHR of about 150 hr-1, lasting for about 4 hours. The maximum is expected to occur at λsol=195.4 degs (October 8, 18h30m UT) but no trail encounters are excpected in 2021.

Orionids will ensure reasonable rates, although not as good as that detected some years ago. Recent returns (2006-2009) were characterized by strong meteor activity (ZHR up to 70 hr-1 on 2 or 3 consecutive dates). A 12-year periodicity in stronger returns due to Jupiter's influence has been found, although most recent returns seem to have had a separate resonant cause (meteoroids trapped in a resonance region). That suggests the best years were 2008-2010, with a sort of minimum around 2014-2016, so Orionids ZHRs may now slowly increase again. The higher activity phase of this new cycle should fall between 2020 - 2022. ZHR for 2021 is expected to be about 20 hr-1, peaking October 21st.
Orionids often provide several lesser maxima, helping meteor activity remain roughly constant for several consecutive days centered on the main peak. Note that, in 1993 and 1998, a submaximum about as strong as the main peak was detected on Oct. 17-18.

Pay also attention to Taurids. The complex of Southern (STA) and Northern Taurids (NTA) is associated with comet 2P/Encke and sometimes produces an unusual activity of bright-to-fireball class meteors, due to resonance with Jupiter. This enhanced meteoroid activity was named as the "swarm". Please note that recent studies have shown that Taurid swarm exists only in southern branch (STA).

According to several models, an encounter with meteoroids of comet 15P/Finlay is predicted for 2021 October 7. Depending by calculation models, the encounter may fall on 00h38m UT, 01h10m UT, 03h15m UT (2008 trail) and 21h18m UT (2002 trail). All these events are only observable from far southern latitudes.

For Radio Observers, the (theoretical) UT peaks for upcoming showers in October 2021 are as follows:

October Camelopardalids
Active: October 05 - October 06
Maximum: October 05, 22h (λsol= 192.58 degs)
ZHR: Low (5 hr-1)

Active: October 06 - October 10
Maximum: October 08, 18h30m UT (λsol= 195.4 degs)
ZHR: Variable - typically 10 hr-1, but may reach storm level

Southern Taurids
Active: September 10 - November 20
Maximum: October 10 (λsol= 197 degs)
ZHR: Low (5 hr-1)

Active: October 10 - October 18
Maximum: October 11 (λsol= 198 degs)
ZHR: Low

ε- Geminids
Active: October 14 - October 27
Maximum: October 18 (λsol= 205 degs)
ZHR: Low

Active: October 02 - November 07
Maximum: October 21 (λsol= 208 degs)
ZHR: Medium (20 hr-1)

Leonis Minorids
Active: October 19 - October 27
Maximum: October 24 (λsol= 211 degs)
ZHR: Low

Source: IMO