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01/03/2019 – Ephemeris – The Quadrantid meteor shower will reach its peak this evening

January 3, 2019 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, January 3rd. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:14. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 7:01 tomorrow morning.

Of the three most active meteor showers, year after year, the Quadrantids of January, Perseids of August, and Geminids of December, only the Quadrantids are not affected by a bright Moon this year. The Quadrantids, which will reach peak at 9:20 this evening have their radiant about due north at that time, only a few degrees above the horizon. The peak is rather narrow, 4 hours to achieve at least half maximum, which is 120 meteors an hour if the radiant was overhead. The radiant, from which the meteors will come from is very low, so will be the numbers. However a low radiant means that the meteor streaks all over the sky will be longer as the meteoroids strike the atmosphere overhead at a shallow angle.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Quadrantid radiant at peak

The location of the Quadrantid radiant, off the handle of the Big Dipper, at 9:20 p.m. January 3, 2019 for the peak of the meteor shower. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

 

 

01/03/2012 – Ephemeris – The Quadrantid meteor shower tomorrow morning

January 3, 2012 Comments off

January 3rd.  The sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:14.   The moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 4:04 tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow morning will see the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower.  They will be best seen after 4 a.m. and before twilight starts at 6:34.  The radiant will appear high in the sky then near the handle of the Big Dipper.  The meteors or shooting stars will appear to come from there but will appear all over the sky.  The shower is named for the constellation that they appear to come from, unfortunately the constellation didn’t survive.  It was supposed to represent a mural quadrant, and old astronomical measuring tool that was built into a north-south wall to measure the altitude of stars as the crosses due south before the advent of the telescope.  The Quadrantids can be a spectacular shower and viewing can be endangered by cold feet and hands.

* Times, as always are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.

Addendum

All sky Quadrantid radiant finder chart.

All sky Quadrantid radiant finder chart for 4 a.m.