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Jan 11

Quadrantids to begin the New Year


Quadrantid meteor is bright enough to be seen at twilight.
Image credit: Mila Zinkova

New year brings us the Quandrantids meteor shower. The shower has its maximum on January 3rd and 4th, but some meteors will probably be visible during all the period between January 1st and January 5th as Earth passes through the radiant.

The name Quadrantids comes from Quadrans Muralis, an obsolete constellation that is now part of Bo├Âtes. It lies between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco.

The Quadrantids are an above average shower, with up to 40 meteors per hour at their peak, but some people have said that they have counted up to 120 per hour in dark sky locations. Of course best viewing will be from a dark location an the time will be after midnight. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation Bootes.

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