The Quadrantids, the first meteor shower that will peak in 2024, has begun.
Runs from December 28 to January 16 According to the American Meteorological SocietyThe Quadrantid meteor shower will peak overnight from Wednesday, January 3 to Thursday, January 4.
They come just weeks after the Geminids saw more than 100 „shooting stars” during 2023's strongest meteor shower.
Quadrantids can peak at up to 120 „shooting stars” per hour, but the peak lasts only a few hours.
Why Watch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower?
Although there isn't much point in looking for „shooting stars” until the peak, the Quadrantids are the first meteor shower of the year. As the solar year begins, Earth breaks up streams of dust and debris left in the inner solar system by comets. Quadrantids are also known for their bright fireball meteors.
What causes the Quadrantid meteor shower?
All „shooting stars” are caused by dust and debris hitting the Earth's atmosphere, though most commonly originate from a passing comet. As for the Quadrantids, it's asteroid 2003 EH1, which scientists think is an extinct comet. It takes 5.5 years to orbit the sun.
When to Watch for the Quadrantid Meteor Shower
The first quarter moon will be on the peak night of the Quadrantids, i.e. after best viewing New Moon Where you are (this is midnight in the Northern Hemisphere).
The radiant point of the Quadrantids—which appear as „shooting stars” in the night sky—is the constellation Quadrants Muralis, which officially does not exist. Although cut from the official list, it lies between the constellations of Boots and Draco, at the end of the handle of the Big Dipper. NASA. That's good news, because it's a circular constellation — that is, it's „up” all night — and you can start seeing „shooting stars” after dark (not so in the Southern Hemisphere, where quadrants aren't visible. ).
However, it's a good idea to look north of the Quadrantids, where „shooting stars” can appear anywhere in the night sky. Leave your binoculars and binoculars indoors — they only limit your vision — and stay outside for at least 40 minutes to darken your eyes.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
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