Quadrantid Meteor Shower 1-5 January

Joylina Goodings

Tuesday 1st – Saturday 5th (peaking on the 3rd, 4th January) is the Quadrantids Meteor Shower; visible from 1st – 5th January after midnight and peaking in the early hours of the 4th.  Typically, 40 or so bright, blue and fast (25.5 miles per second) meteors will radiate from the constellation Bootes, some blazing more than halfway across the sky. A small percentage of them leave persistent dust trains. This shower usually has a very sharp peak, usually lasting only about an hour. Fortunately we will be in a no moon period so it should be very good viewing especially if the nights are clear. View from a dark place after midnight.

The particles that cause the Quadrantid meteor show originate from the asteroid 2003 EH1 an asteroid that is probably a piece broken off from an obsolete comet. Since the orbit of 2003 EH1 is highly inclined to the orbit of the Earth, the Earth passes through it very quickly. Thus, the Quadrantid meteor shower is an extremely short one, lasting only a few hours.