Brief And Intense Meteor Shower To Set Sky Ablaze On Morning of 4th Jan.
By on January 2nd, 2012

Cosmic fireworks are all set to light up the night sky in the early hours of 4th Jan, 2012. A little known meteor shower, the Quadrantids, will set the sky ablaze during a brief, but intense meteor shower. Unfortunately, only Northern Hemisphere residents will be able to see the shower. The peak will be at about 3 AM EST in the morning. With the moon setting at about this time, skywatchers will be able to get a great view! The frequency of the showers is expected to cross 100 per hour for a very brief duration.

Streaks from the Quadrantid, taken from Alberta Canada (Courtesy: National Geographic)

Where to Look

The Quadrantids are named after an extinct constellation, Quadrans Muralis. It will be hedged in between the Draco constellation to the North, the Big Dipper and the Arcturus constellation further east. It will be close to the Pole Star, so if you can identify that you’ll be home dry! You can alternatively get a compass to point North and that’ll do it too!

The Location of the radiant in the sky (Courtesy: www.meteorshowersonline.com)

The showers will be visible best to the residents in the higher latitudes. North Americans and Canadians will be getting a brilliant view. The Quadrantids have been known to clock counts at even 200 per hour. However, the window of opportunity is really small about a matter of a few hours and only on one day. This is in contrast with the more famous Geminids and the Perseids, which can be seen for days.

Happy sky watching.

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Author: Debjyoti Bardhan Google Profile for Debjyoti Bardhan
Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.

Debjyoti Bardhan has written and can be contacted at debjyoti@techie-buzz.com.
 
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