We’ve got great news for all space lovers out there: the Quadrantids Meteor Shower opens 2016 space season with an exceptionally rich display of falling stars. All U.S. and European inhabitants will be likely to see the astronomical event, but conditions may vary from one region to another.
The Quadrantids meteor shower is the natural firework show that the sky seems to arrange for us every time a new year begins. This year, too, the meteor shower will have its peak on the 4th of January and viewing conditions will be a lot better than in the previous years, astronomers have explained.
The moon is still young because it has just passed to its last quarter phase, so there won’t be any moonlight bothering viewers as they watch the meteor shower. The light is expected to be rather dim, but it also depends on the weather conditions in each and every state. Either way, astronomers recommend viewers to peak the remotest places where city lights won’t obscure their sight.
The meteor shower will begin at approximately 2 a.m., but the peak hours will take place between 3 and 6 a.m. Around 120 stars are expected to cross the sky at this time of the morning, so it is impossible to miss them.
Your eyes will most certainly need some time to adjust to the evening conditions, so don’t give up if you don’t see the stars in the first minutes. Staying warm is also important if you want to enjoy the meteor shower watch, so make sure you are prepared for winter conditions.
The Quadrantids meteor shower is one of the most important astronomical events, together with August’s Perseids and December’s Geminids. Unlike these two space phenomena, the Quadrantids don’t benefit of too much popularity because their peak interval is usually smaller compared to the other two.
January’s most popular meteor shower is said to originate from a newly identified space object, the 2003 EHI. The celestial body was identified, as its name points it out, in the year 2003 and the falling meteors could be the debris of the respective object.
These meteors burn brighter than regular stars we see during the Perseids and the Geminids events. Yet, they are very difficult to spot because the peak interval is set to just a few hours whereas other meteor showers have peak intervals of days.
Image source: www.wikimedia.org