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Home / Science / The first meteor shower of 2021 will light up the night sky during the New Year’s weekend

The first meteor shower of 2021 will light up the night sky during the New Year’s weekend



Once in a lifetime comet And epic The encounter of Jupiter and Saturn For the great combination, 2020 is an important year for celestial phenomena. However, from January 2 to January 3, the Quadrantid meteor shower reached its peak, which is the strong start of 2021. NASA calls it one of the “Best Meteor Showers of the Year”.

What is a quadrant?

According to NASA, Quadrant Return every year from December 28th to January 12th. They first appeared in 1825 and originated from the asteroid 1003 EH1 discovered by the Lowell Observatory in a near-Earth object search in March 2003.

The meteor seems to radiate from a constellation that no longer exists. This constellation is called “Quadrans Muralis”

;, but this constellation is not the true source of the meteor.

NASA said: “The other name for the quadrant pixel is swag, because the meteor seems to radiate from the modern ivory constellation.” “Even though this constellation may no longer be recognized, it is considered long enough, Enough to name the meteor shower.”

The quadrant is the last meteor shower of the month. There was almost no celestial activity a few months ago. According to the American Meteor Association, it may become the strongest shower in Perseus and Gemini.

In the short period from Saturday night to Sunday morning, there is a chance to spot 60 to 200 meteors per hour at a speed of 25.5 miles per second. The quadrant pixels are known for their bright fireball meteors, which are larger explosions of light and color that last longer than typical meteor streaks.

Despite the possibility of showering, it will be short: the maximum window of activity is only six hours.

NASA said: “The reason the peak is so short is due to the flow of fine particles from the shower and the fact that the earth traverses the flow at a vertical angle.”

cuadrantidas30estelasdlopez1024.jpg
In this skyscape, about 30 quadrant meteors can be calculated, and the number consists of digital frames recorded in the dark and moonless sky between 2:30 am and local dawn.

Daniel Lopez/NASA APOD


How to watch the quadrant meteor shower

The quadrant is best viewed from the northern hemisphere, but bad weather in early January also made viewing more difficult. Even if the sky is dark with clouds, the almost waning bulging moon will continue to glow brightly throughout the weekend, making meteor observation tricky.

Unlike many other popular meteor showers, which peak in a few nights, regular observation of the quadrants is essential for spotting meteors. According to the International Meteor Organization (International Meteor Organization) predictions, the peak period will occur around 14:30 UTC on Sunday-which means that the best chance to watch a shower in North America will be before dawn on Sunday morning.

Like all meteor showers, you will want to avoid all the bright city lights for the best viewing effect, lie flat on your back, and let your eyes adjust to the darkness for about 30 minutes. Put on winter clothes and wait patiently, the performance will last until dawn.

After the quadrant flight, when the Lyrids and Eta Aquariids return at the end of April, the meteor shower will not exceed three months.


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