101 Things – The Quadrantid Meteor Shower
This meteor show is one of the high points of the “Shooting Star” year and can produce prolific displays of between 40-300 shooting stars at the peak, which starts tonight and goes on into the morning of tomorrow the 4th if January.
On average it produces about 120 per hour and these are usually faint with magnitudes ranging from 1 to 5.
The Moon phase for this shower is first quarter and it’s setting after midnight, so the skies should be dark for a good show.
Although the Quadrantid meteor shower runs for a few days it has a narrow peak which this year will be around 4am in the morning. You’ll see a few shooting stars after dark, but the rates pick up after midnight and the show will carry on until dawn.
Most other meteor showers come from dust and debris left behind by comets, but the Quadrantids comes from an Asteroid called 2003 EH1, although there is currently some scientific debate about whether it’s a dead comet, or a “rocky” comet.
It’s going to be cold so wrap up warm, and for the best chance to see lots of shooting stars, face north and look about halfway up the sky. The Plough (pictured), is a pattern of stars that sits in the Northern sky – so look towards that, (and up!)
Good luck with the weather and Clear Skies!