Quadrantid Meteor Shower

The first meteor shower of 2013 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.

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 2013 the peak is predicted for January 3rd around 13:33UT, or 03:33HST on this side of the globe, excellent timing. This is the good news for observers here in Hawai’i. The bad news is that the peak will be sullied by the light of a bright last quarter Moon.

Watching meteors requires no more equipment than your eyes and a dark sky, and can be enjoyable for just about anyone. While the viewing conditions for this year’s Quadrantids are possibly spoiled by moonlight, it may still be worth a peek. 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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