Meteor Program – Visual Form Instructions

Visual Meteor Observing Form.

Meteor Program Chair:

Scott Kranz
106 N Darrowby Drive
Raymore, MO 64083-9181
(816) 331-5796


The Meteor Observing form is designed to allow you to record your observations in a way that memorializes your observations and makes it possible to analyze them scientifically. Please read and follow these instructions carefully. Be sure to send your observations promptly. The Meteor Section of the A.L.P.O. needs to receive them within 30 days of observation. To share your data with the A.L.P.O., mail the report form to the A.L.P.O. Meteors Section, 161 Vance Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910-4828. Your report will then be added with other observers across North America and published in A.L.P.O.’s quarterly journal The Strolling Astronomer. The Section Recorder will archive a copy and send a copy to Europe for analysis by the International Meteor Organization.

Another organization interested in meteors and meteor observing is the American Meteor Society.  You can get more information on them by clicking here.

Other meteor organizations:

Filling Out the Form.


Date: Year-month-day; in this order please!

Time: Using your watch, specify the time you began and ended. Also indicate the time zone used (UT, EST, EDT, etc.).

Location: Longitude and latitude of your observing site plus the elevation in meters. To obtain this figure, divide your elevation in feet by 3.28. Example: 500 feet divided by 3.28 = 152 meters.

Percent Cloudy: Note the sky obscuration during each hour in your field of view, not the entire sky.

Sky Conditions: Please use the following categories:

Very Dark: such as a rural location far from light pollution and no Moon present;
Dark: a few lights nearby or a slender crescent Moon is present;
Average: moderate light pollution nearby or a quarter Moon is present;
Below Average: suburban location with many streetlights and porchlights obscuring the fainter stars or a gibbous Moon is present;
Severe: urban locations with only the brightest stars visible or a full Moon is present.

Breaks: Please note any breaks taken during the observing session. This time must be subtracted from your total observing time to yield your effective observing time.


For each meteor you observe, provide as much of the following information as possible:

Time: The time to the nearest minute each meteor appeared.

Magnitude: The brightness of each meteor to the nearest whole magnitude. Most meteors are in the +2 to +3 magnitude range. The faintest are 6th magnitude and the brightest usually range from -4 to +1 magnitude.

Type: Enter only if the meteor belongs to a particular shower.

Speed: You may enter fast, medium, or slow. You may also use a numeric range of 1-5 where 5 is the swiftest. Experienced observers estimate the duration in tenths of a second.

Train: Enter the length of time any persistent train is visible after the meteor has vanished. Most trains last only one second or less.

Comments: Enter any remarks you feel pertain to this meteor. Examples may include sparks or fragments that fell from the meteor or a peculiar color of the train.

Printable Blank Meteor Observing Form in Excel Format, PDF Format

Enjoy your observing!

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