Moons page — updated on February 16th, 2017

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Starting Off 2017

Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere (especially in mid-latitudes) can be treated to a meteor shower to kick off the New Year. If you are able to see the northern part of BOÖTES the Herdsman constellation — located lower in the sky than Ursa Major (Big Dipper) — then you are able to see where the meteors (shooting stars) originate from before spreading across the sky. Quadrantid meteors showers are typically known to produce anywhere from a maximum of 25 to 100 and even 120 meteors per hour, but the peak time is rather narrow, specific, and yet not set-in-stone. The ideal time to watch is in the early hours of January 3rd (Tuesday) and/or 4th (Wednesday). According to the International Meteor Organization, the "sharp maximum" time is specifically set at or before 14:00 UTC (2 P.M.) universal time. Therefore, western areas of the Americas are most likely to see the peak activity in a dark sky. US states and other areas in the Northern Hemisphere located further east will have to witness this event at another time, especially before the IMO-suggested 14:00 UTC time.

D i d   Y o u   K n o w ?
According to EarthSky, the Quadrantid meteor shower received its name from a constellation that no longer exists. Named by astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795, Quadrans Muralis (Mural Quadrant) was located between Boötes and Draco the Dragon. Quadrans Muralis became obsolete because the International Astronomy Union did not list it (in 1922) as one of the 88 modern, agree-upon constellations.

No comments - Post Comment Here

Post a Comment

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions? Let me know with a comment!
*Please note that comments WILL be MODERATED; therefore, spam comments (including offers and links unrelated to the post topic) WILL be REMOVED.*
I greatly appreciate your input... thank you so much!

Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage: Hubblesite.org/categories/images.

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula