Friday, January 3, 2014

Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2014- First Annual Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

It's time for the Quadrantids Meteor Shower 2014 - the first meteor shower of 2014 peaks tonight beginning at 3:30 p.m. PST and continuing through the night via Slooh which will be streaming live video of the night sky from its telescopes in the Canary Islands and Arizona as the meteor shower, known as the Quadrantids, is a tricky one to catch even though it can occasionally provide impressive displays of more than 100 meteors per hour according to astronomers at EarthSky the meteor showe has a very short peak time that lasts just a few hours while most meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through a stream of dust and debris shed in the wake of a comet, the Quadrantids are one of just two annual meteor showers that originate from an asteroid. Quandrantid meteors generally glow blue, and hit our atmosphere at 90,000 mph, and burn up 50 miles above our planet, according to NASA. They were first discovered in 1825 and are named for a constellation, Quadrans Muralis, which is no longer recognized by astronomers. The Quandrantids were named after the extinct constellation of Quadrans Muralis, which was created by the French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795. Quadrans Muralis was located between Bootes and Draco. The Quadrantid shower is named after the defunct 19th century constellation Quadrans Muralis. If you trace the paths of the Quandrantids backward, they appear to radiate from a point where this constellation once reigned in the sky. If you wish, you can locate the Quadrantid radiant in reference to the Big Dipper and the bright star Arcturus. Use the chart at the top of this post. The Quadrantids are associated with an asteroid - the 2003 EH1. The asteroid takes about 5.5 years to orbit around the Sun. If you can get to an area with open sky, away from the lights of the city, you may see some of the characteristic Quadrantid fireballs or even bolides after sunset on Jan. 3. While most meteor showers peak over two days, the window of opportunity is much shorter for the Quadrantids which is just a few hours.

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