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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Quadrantids Meteor shower 3-4 January 2012

Between 03 and 04 January 2012, Quadrantids meteor shower will take place (see Astronomical calendar 2012). This gets to have up to 40 meteors per hour, usually on 3 and 4 January, but they may be visible between 1 and 5 January. Highest rate of meteors per hour took place in 1932 when they fell into our atmosphere about 80 meteors per hour.
The best time to observe this event is a dark place after midnight. The meteors radiates from the constellation Bootesclose to the North Star.
The source of this meteor shower was unknown until December 2003 when Peter Jenniskens of the Ames Research Center (NASA) found evidence that Quadrantid meteoroids come from 2003 EH1, an "asteroid", which is probably is a piece of a comet which disintegrated 500 years ago.

Quadrantids name is given from Quadrans muralis.

Quadrans muralis (or mural quadrant) was a constellation created by Jérôme Lalande in 1795. It was located between the constellations Boötes and Draco, near the Ursa Major tail. This constellation is no longer in use, but the meteor shower Quadrantids is named after it.

This meteor shower is still harder to spot than others. One reason would be because in January the weather is very cold on the northern sky.
Another reason (valid only for the southern hemisphere), is that the radiant point of the meteor shower is very high in the sky, so observers in the southern hemisphere, will see almost nothing.
Another reason is the short time of the peak does not last long, a few hours at most.

Observers who wish to try to see it rain, are advised to look before dawn Tuesday, January 4, 2012, when the radiant is most intense in the sky.

Next astronomical event in 2012: Asteroid 433 Eros January 31, 2012
For those who like my astro pictures or my articles, it woul be great if you could pay attention on advertising that appear in the blog by a click and maybe one day I could buy a better telescope.


Astronomy Laser Pointer said...

Waiting for the coming meteor shower. Dear Miss Meteor, please take care of my wishes1 :D Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

nice idea, thanks for sharing...

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