Once in a lifetimeAnd epic For the great combination, 2020 was a big year for the celestial event. But the 2021 quadrant is starting strong with a meteor shower peak, which NASA calls one of the “best annual meteor showers” from January 2 to January 3.
What are Quadrantids?
According to NASA, A.Returns between 28 December to 12 January each year. First sighted in 1825, they originated from the small asteroid 1003 EH1, which was discovered in March 2003 by the Lowell Observatory Near-Earth Object Search.
Meteors appear to emanate from a constellation that no longer exists, which is called the “Quadrance Murali”, but is not the true source of the constellation meteor.
“An alternative name for quadrantids is bootids because meteors appear to radiate from the modern constellations of shoes,” NASA says. “Even though the constellation can no longer be recognized, it was considered a constellation that gives the meteor shower a lot of name.”
Quadrantids mark the last meteor shower of the season, which persists for several months with little celestial activity. According to the American Meteor Society, it has the potential to be the strongest shower of the year, along with Persids and Geminids.
During the brief window from Saturday night to Sunday morning, traveling between 25.5 miles per second is a chance to spot between 60 and 200 meteors per hour. Quadrantid bright fireballs are known for meteors, which are large bursts of light and color that last longer than typical meteorite streaks.
Despite the shower’s capacity, it will be brief: the window of maximum activity is just six hours.
“The reason that the peak is so low is due to the thin stream of particles bombarding and the fact that the Earth crosses the stream at a straight angle,” NASA says.
How to see quadrant meteor shower
Quadrantids are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, but poor weather conditions in early January also make it more difficult to see. Even if the sky is clear of clouds, the long-lasting moon will shine with the moon throughout the weekend, making it difficult for a meteor-bird.
Unlike many other meteor bodies, which peak at several nights, opening of meteors is necessary to see your quadrant over time. According to the International Meteor Organization, the peak is expected to be around 14:30 UTC on Sunday – meaning the best chance of seeing a shower in North America would be in the prewar hours of Sunday morning.
Like all meteor showers, you want to get away from all the bright city lights for the best viewing, lying flat on your back and giving your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Dress and be patient for the winter season – this show will run until morning.
After the Quadrantids, another meteor shower will not take place for more than three months, when the Lirids and the Eta Aquarids return at the end of April.