Updated: January 4, 2022 10:41:58 am
The Quadrantids are here to welcome the new year. The annual meteor showers will peak after 2:00 am tomorrow morning and you can see approximately 80 meteors per hour. According to NASA, the meteor velocity is 41 kilometres per second.
The Quadrantids, one of the brightest meteor showers, are active every year from December 28 through January 12.
The Quadrantids, which our own Dr. Peter Jenniskens determined are caused by near-Earth asteroid (196256) 2003 EH1, peak at 20:40 GMT January 3! Tonight is a good night to head outside and watch for meteors, if you have skies that allow it. https://t.co/HDPZwDqccC
— The SETI Institute (@SETIInstitute) January 3, 2022
What makes the Quadrantid meteor shower unique?
Most meteor showers originate from comets, but the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid named 2003 EH1. The asteroid takes 5.52 years to orbit our sun and when Earth passes through the particles left by this asteroid, we see the shower. These debris trails disintegrate when they collide with our atmosphere and create the fiery streaks we see in the sky.
The meteor shower gets its name from the constellation of Quadrans Muralis (Mural Quadrant). When the shower was first noted, it appeared to be radiating from this constellation. It is now a defunct constellation that lies near the constellation of Bootes.
Finder chart for the Quadrantids if anyone fancies spotting some meteors tonight pic.twitter.com/HMxPQCEL7b
— Prof. David Scanlan, FRAS (@David_Scanlan) January 2, 2022
How to watch the shower?
Drive away from the light pollution of your cities and find a safe empty field or terrace of a house. Your eyes need about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, so arrive early. Make sure you bring a blanket to keep yourself cozy on this winter night. You do not need any special instruments. The best strategy is to face the northeast side of the sky and look out for the fireballs.
PASS IT ON: Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight through the predawn hours of January 4th. Up to 40 meteors will be possible per hour! Photo courtesy of Judy Allen. #MeteorShower #Space pic.twitter.com/ENox1sVgdy
— Mark Tarello (@mark_tarello) January 3, 2022
The Virtual Telescope Project 2.0 will run a live stream starting tomorrow at 5:15 am IST. They will be capturing the shower from Rome.
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