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Quadrantid Meteor Shower Peaks January 3-4

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The annual Quadrantid Meteor Shower is expected to peak during the night of 2019 JAN 03-04. Its radiant is in the no longer official constellation Quadrans Muralis which is now part of Boötes. That is the direction toward which the meteor tails point, but the meteors are equally likely to appear anywhere in your sky. It is conjectured that the Quadrantids are debris from the asteroid 2003 EH1, which in turn may have been a castoff from comet C/1490 Y1.

The peak rate of the Quadrantids can be as great as the normally most prolific annual showers at possibly a hundred per hour for sharp eyed observers in dark skies. However the peak period of less than half a day is unusually short, thus implying a narrow stream of particles. Also the meteors are normally not very bright. The 2019 peak is expected on January 4 around 00 hr UT (3 around 18 hr CST).

The show begins after Boötes rises, which is around local midnight for mid-northern hemisphere observers, but later in the southern hemisphere. It will continue through morning twilight. No effective interference is expected during the peak from the waning crescent Moon.

 Descriptions of the shower or perhaps even lucky photos would be welcome additions to this thread.


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HI  Centaurz   Amazingly it was actually clear here in the UK for the maximum of the Quadrantids, after weeks of almost perpetual cloud. I started my watch around 12.30 am GMT and continued until 4.45 am, with only a 30 minute break for a welcome hot drink. During this time i recorded around 62 Quadrantids, including about 6 very notable events ( brighter than zero magnitude) one low down in the south east around 4 am noticeably orange, although the others were of the more usual whitish/blue hue. The air temperature here in rural Worcestershire dipped below -6c during the early hours and the lure of a warm bed finally curtailed my watch before daybreak.  While this represents a modest hourly rate of around 15-20 meteors, much less than the predicted ZHR of 80/100 meteors,  my immediate horizon was far from ideal and I assume therefore that I would have missed a fair few meteors behind the treetops, etc. It will be interesting to find out how other observers faired both in the UK and further afield.   Clear skies for 2019.     Chris.      

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Observed a while in the night of the maximum (Jan 4th, 03.20 CET). Conditions were poor: between 75 and 100% cloud cover. Still, a nice handful of Quadrantids between the clouds. Bluish in colour, bright, faster than the Geminids but slower than the Perseids. A shower worth setting an alarm for if the conditions are favourable!

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