Virginid meteor shower

2017 Apr 11

Dominic Ford – originally published on

The Virginid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity on 12 April 2017. Some shooting stars associated with the shower are expected to be visible each night from 7 Apr to 18 Apr.

The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a dark location is around 5 per hour (ZHR). The Moon will be 15 days old at the time of peak activity, and being so close to Full Moon, will severely limit the observations that will be possible.

The radiant of the Virginid meteor shower is at around right ascension 13h20m, declination -09°, as shown by the green cross on the planetarium above. At midnight, it appears 28° above your southern horizon from London (click to change). All of the meteors will appear to be travelling directly outward from this point, as indicated by the white lines drawn above.

To see the most meteors, the best place to look is not directly at the radiant itself, but at any dark patch of sky which is around 30–40° away from it. It is at a distance of around this distance from the radiant that meteors will show reasonably long trails without being too spread out.

The details of this observing event were provided courtesy of