After the painful 2020, all of us should have a spectacle to welcome the new year. The Quadrantids meteor shower is displayed in the store just right.
The meteor shower peaked on Saturday night (January 2), sending up to 90 meteors per hour across the sky.
NASA called the quadrant “one of the best meteor showers of the year.” They are known for their bright fireballs, leaving a short-lived imprint on the night sky.
Most meteor showers come from comet dust (balls of ice and rocks), but the quadrants are leftover fragments of asteroids (bare space rocks).
When the earth orbits the sun, it passes through the orbit of the asteroid 2003 EH1 every January, sweeping through the debris dropped by the asteroid. These space rock fragments burn in the atmosphere and emit bright flares.
Unfortunately, the dwindling uplift moon makes up about 84% of the full moon, which may be more than half of the Saturday meteor. In years when the sky is darker, the quadrant can produce up to 200 meteors in an hour.
How to watch the quadrant
Although other meteor showers peaked within a few days, the quadrant only provided about six hours of best performance. In order to capture all the glory, please tie up and stay away from the city lights as much as possible. Find a comfortable place, look up at the stars, and lie on your back. (Pro tip: The recliner is the best friend of stargazers.)
If possible, position yourself so that the moon is out of your sight. This will minimize its overwhelming brightness.
Wait 30 minutes to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. The celestial show should start after nightfall and continue until dawn.
Meteors will radiate from the north, but you should be able to see them all over the sky.
After the four quadrants, the next meteor shower to look for will be Lyrids, which peaks on the evening of April 21.