Sky gazers please note that the Quadrantid meteor shower, the first of 2016, is tonight. This meteor shower is known for putting up a bright slow like Perseid and Geminid showers. But this time, experts have warned that it is bit tricky to have the shooting stars falling at a rate of 50 per hour, but effort is worth making.
Certain things that make the Quadrantid meteor a unique one is that it is the first meteor shower of the year. Another thing is this meteor shower is not the result of debris from any normal comet burning up in the atmosphere.
The Quadrantid meteor shower is the result of a mysterious and relatively newly-discovered object, 2003 EHI. For the first time, 2003 EHI was theorized in 1997. Some call it a minor planet, a dead comet or an asteroid.
But on the Christmas Eve of 2003, scientists confirmed that these are the pieces of this rocky-body that one see as burning up as meteors. As mentioned above, the viewing of Quadrantid meteor could be difficult this time because the weather needs to cooperate.
The peak is said to be short-lived and the meteor shower is best seen from northerly latitudes, and between midnight and dawn on January 4. The best time to view the shower in North America is may be around 4am.
Another factor that may disrupt the viewing is the waning crescent moon. Viewing the Quadrantids will be your last chance before April to come across any meteor shower.
NASA has predicted a small time frame therefore sky gazers need to be quite attentive and be more precise than usual, there is no room for error. The name for this meteor shower has come from Quadrans Muralis, which was a super-constellation made of a combination of stars that are now part of three constellations- The Big Dipper, Bootes, and Dracos.
In other news SPACE reported, the first meteor display of 2016 – the Quadrantid meteor shower - will hit its peak early Monday morning (Jan. 4), with a strong display of "shooting stars" likely for Europe and North America.
Weather permitting, observers in the eastern regions of the United States and Canada will be in position for the maximum activity from the Quadrantid meteor shower, which is expected about 3 a.m. EST, when the radiant of the shower will be well up the dark northeastern sky. This is perfect timing – it falls right in our prime meteor-watching hours before dawn.
In a statement provided to EarthSky, this meteor shower favors the Northern Hemisphere. That’s because its radiant point – the point in the sky from which the meteors appear to radiate – is far to the north on the sky’s dome.
The Quadrantid meteor shower is capable of matching the meteor rates of the better known August Perseid and December Geminid showers. It has been known to produce up to 50-100 or more meteors per hour in a dark sky.
The Quadrantid meteor shower is tonight. Viewing the show is a bit tricky, but well worth the effort. Here’s how, when, and why to watch the meteor shower—and what a mysterious “disappeared constellation” has to do with it all.
The Quadrantids are the first meteor shower of the year. Somewhat unusually, they are not the result of debris from an ordinary comet burning up in the atmosphere. Instead, the interstellar debris that we see as a meteor shower comes from a mysterious and relatively newly-discovered object, 2003 EHI, according to a report from the Gizmodo.