Corona Australid Meteor Shower Peaks on March 16

For SkyWatchers in the Southern Hemisphere and those positioned south of the +44 latitude line, now is the time to spot the swift members of the Corna-Australid meteor shower which peaks Sunday morning! Despite the first quarter Moon, this could be a very good year…

Why? Because the constellation of Corona Australis is located at the southwestern edge of Saggitarius, a constellation which won’t rise for most of us until the Moon has long departed the skies!

If you’re interested in spotting between 5 and 7 meteors per hour, one of the best times will be about 2 hours before local dawn for the lower northern hemisphere and anytime after the Moon sets for the south. To be sure, the Corona-Australids are a very narrow meteor stream, but even if weather doesn’t cooperate on March 16th, you’ll still be able to catch members of this short duration shower through the morning of March 18th. A very unusual aspect of the Corona-Australids is the fact the meteors never vary more than 7 degrees from the radiant constellation and almost all appear to move from south to north!

While you’re out, enjoy viewing Corona Australis. The “Southern Crown” is home to an enormous cosmic dust cloud which veils its rich field of stars. This dark obscuring cloud could be no more than 500 light years away and the thickest part is only about 8 light years long. For observers, look for nebulae NGC 6726, NGC 6727, NGC 2679 and IC 4812. Even binoculars should be able to spot pretty globular cluster NGC 6723!

Enjoy the constellation and good luck catching a shooting star!

11 Replies to “Corona Australid Meteor Shower Peaks on March 16”

  1. Thanks for letting everyone know about this!! But please try to use fewer exclaimation marks! Even none at all! Exclamation marks are very irritating! They make you sound enthusiastic! but also a little manic!!!!

  2. What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!…
    Pity this only arrived on Sunday night!!!!!!!!!!!!…
    Oh well, fingers crossed for the 18th. So for Sydney whats the best window anyone????????????????????

  3. I would hardly consider the use of 3 exclamation marks, (considering your example has 7 with very little text) something that one would consider enough to make a comment about, geez lighten up Caspar.

  4. I live in Stockport, England and saw a meteor last night (16/3/08) at 20:30 moving north to south. Everyone thinks I am going mad – am I ? Should i have been able to see this ?

    Thanks

  5. Hi, Simon!

    I don’t think you’ve gone crazy just yet. Even when the radiant constellation is below the horizon, it is entirely possible to see a member of a particular meteor shower. Count yourself lucky!

    (ooops. i got excited… i’ll try to restrain myself. 😉

    Best,

    ~Tammy

  6. I sore a shooting star as well on the Sunday (16/03/2008) in Aberystwyth in Mid Wales, it was just passing the constellation of Orion when I noticed it. Is it likely to be part of what you all witnessed?

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