For you skywatchers out there who cannot wait for the “super blood wolf moon eclipse” later in January, the Quadrantid meteor shower will provide a few hours of entertainment early Friday morning.
The Quads, as they’re known , will be best seen between midnight and dawn on January. 4. The showers have a short peak for just a few hours.
The Quadrantids have the potential to be the strongest shower of the year, the american Meteor Society said, however usually fall short because of the short length of maximum activity Six hours and the poor weather experienced during early January.”
Some good news: This year, the moon will just be alittle crescent sliver in the sky, which will ensure dark skies for this year’s show, according to Earthsky.org. “Even though moonlight isn’t a factor this year, you still need to be in the right spot on Earth to look at this meteor shower in all its splendor,” EarthSky said.
The shower will be seen best by folks in the northern hemisphere, since its radiant point is so far north on the sky’s dome close to the famous big Dipper, within the north-northeastern sky between midnight and dawn, according to EarthSky.
Astronomy.com said that observers all around the northern hemisphere should see a good display, however the best views probably will be in Europe.
Though the meteors will radiate from the northern sky, they’ll appear in all parts of the sky. the amount of meteors per hour for the Quadrantids varies from sixty to two hundred per hour, with an average around a hundred and twenty. They often produce bright fireballs.
The Quads were 1st observed in Italy in 1825. they’re named after an obsolete constellation, Quadrans Muralis, as seen by a French astronomer in 1795.
The Quadrantids are uncommon because they come from an asteroid, not a comet, as do most meteor showers.
It’s thought that the asteroid, named 2003 EH1, is the extinct remains of a comet discovered in Asia back in the year 1490, Cooke said. Asteroids are little, rocky bodies while comets are made from ice and dust around a rocky core.