Quadrantid Meteor Shower

The first meteor shower of 2014 is the annual Quadrantid meteor shower. The Quadrantids are a reliable shower, producing 60-120 ZHR, one to two meteors per minute. The Quadrantids are named for the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis, now part of the constellation Boötes.

Leonids in Orion
A pair of Leonid meteors streak through Orion
Unlike other showers where activity can occur for days or even weeks, the Quadrantids have a sharp peak, activity falls off rapidly on the preceding and following nights, or even a few hours away from the peak. Thus it is important to observe the Quadrantids quite near the peak prediction. For 2014 the peak is predicted for January 3rd around 19:30UT, or 09:30HST on this side of the globe. The best timing for observers in the islands is during the predawn hours of January 3rd, a few hours before peak, the best we have for this year. The good news is that the night will be nearly moonless, with wonderfully dark conditions for observing.

Watching meteors requires no more equipment than your eyes and a dark sky, and can be enjoyable for just about anyone. Set the alarm early?

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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