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Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2014

Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Credit: NASA

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower ushers in 2014 with its peak on the 3rd of January.

The Quadrantids can be an impressive meteor shower with rates of up to 120 meteors per hour at peak (under perfect conditions) and have been known to produce up to 200 meteors per hour.  The peak is quite narrow lasting only a few hours, however there will be plenty of meteors to look out for either side of maximum.

Meteor Shower

Meteor Shower

Excellent Meteor Viewing Opportunities

The good news is the meteor shower takes place in moonless skies making observing conditions excellent as long as the skies are clear.  The peak occurs at roughly 19:30 UT/ GMT on January 3rd making for excellent early evening observing opportunities from Europe.  Even with it’s short peak there should also be good chances of seeing some either side of the peak and in the small hours after midnight.

The radiant of the Quadrantids (where the meteors radiate/ originate from) is in the constellation of Boötes, many people are mislead in thinking they need to look at the radiant to see meteors – this is not true.  Meteors will appear anywhere in the sky at random.  You can trace the shooting stars path back to the radiant to confirm if it is a meteor from the meteor shower.

For more info on how to observe and enjoy the Quadrantid meteor shower, see the guide to observing meteors

Join in with the Quadrantid meteorwatch on twitter and follow the hashtag #meteorwatch to see all the tweets, images and info posted, If the sky is clear we will be in for a good show.  Tell your friends, tell your family and tell everyone to lookup for the Quadrantid Meteor Shower.

If you want more info on meteor showers, browse this site or ask VirtualAstro on twitter. Stay posted for more guides and information if you plan to do some more stargazing in 2014 and beyond.


Credit: Shooting Star Wallpapers

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