Rain of quadrantid meteorites to illuminate the sky on New Year’s weekend, Science News

Showers with quantum meteorites will illuminate the night sky on New Year’s weekend with up to 200 shooting stars every hour.

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Meteorite rain with quadrantids it is described as one of the best annual showers.

During its peak, 60 to 200 Quadrantid meteors can be seen per hour in perfect conditions.

According to the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the peak is expected to occur around 14:30 GMT on Sunday, January 3.

Quadrantids are known for bright fireball meteors and are unique in that they come from an asteroid, instead of a comet. Fireballs are explosions of light and color and last longer than the normal meteor stripe.

The annual meteor shower occurs every year between December 28 and January 12, but in 2021 the best views in the UK will be after dark on January 2 and 3. It is expected to peak from Friday evening to Saturday morning.

Meteors are pieces of rocky debris that enter the Earth’s atmosphere at up to 40 miles per second, leaving streaks of light that we call “shooting stars.”

Quadrantids are best seen in the northern hemisphere (this shower can also be seen at latitudes north of 51 degrees south) during the night and hours before morning.

The American Meteor Society has suggested viewers start watching an hour before peak hours, if the show starts earlier. To have a good view, avoid daylight and find a darker location.

Their radiant – the point in the sky from which the Quadrantids appear to come – is an obsolete constellation called “Quadrans Muralis”. French astronomer Jerome Lalande created this constellation in 1795.

Unlike most meteor showers that come from comets, quadrants come from an asteroid: the 2003 asteroid EH1. Asteroid 2003 EH1 takes 5.52 years to orbit the sun once. It is possible that the 2003 EH is a “dead comet” or a new type of object discussed by astronomers called a “rock comet”.

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