Friday, 18 January, 2019

Poor timing to diminish intensity of Quadrantid meteor shower in U.S.

Shutterstock 349131284 First meteor shower of the year to be visible in Qatar skies over the weekend!
Theresa Hayes | 06 January, 2019, 03:09

During its peak in early January, anywhere from 60 to as many as 200 Quadrantid meteors can be seen per hour in flawless conditions. The best hours are late night and early predawn-and tonight is when the show is going to reach its peak.

The Quadrantid shower lasts for weeks, but it has a very narrow peak of a few hours with maximum activity.

If you are living in Northeast Asia and the North Pacific, you will get the rare opportunity to witness a partial solar eclipse on January 6; an event where the moon will come between the Earth and sun, with it only partially obscured.

The elusive shower is caused by the trail of debris left by 2003 EH1, an object astronomers think is a rock-comet - nearly an asteroid, not quite a comet. Luckily, this year the moonlight-which can make it harder to spot the Quadrantids-won't have a dawn glare, according to the American Meteor Society.

Unlike most meteor showers that last for a few days, the Quadrantids have a peak of only a few hours due to the way they hit the Earth's atmosphere. Once you're warmly dressed and in the dark, allow for your eyes to adjust. Some estimates say that you may be able to see as many as 80 meteors per hour tonight (if the conditions are clear enough, of course).

The Quadrantid meteor showers are known for being slow-moving and colorful, including green, yellow, pink and light blue.

We're also approaching a new moon on 5 January, so there won't be much of a lunar glow either.

Also triggered from the debris from Halley's Comet, the Orionid meteor shower will take place October 2 to November 7, peaking at night on October 21-22.

The meteor shower radiates between the Big Dipper and Bootes. This year, the peak is set to occur at 9 p.m. EST Thursday evening, according to the International Meteor Organization.