Quaternary meteorites 2021 clouded by moonlight | Basics of Astronomy

A man with a camera tripod shadowed watching a thin line in the sky against a giant green aurora.

View larger. | In 2014, during a quadruple flight, people at far northern latitudes were watching the aurora borealis. Photo by Photography Tommy Eliassen.

Quadruple meteor shower is the first major meteor shower in 2021. Unfortunately, it’s bright Humping diminished The moon will illuminate the sky on the expected peak night from late on the night of January 2 until dawn on January 3. Although quadrupole is known to produce about 50-100 meteors in The sky is dark, Its peak is very narrow, in terms of time. The peaks of the Perseid or Geminid meteorite last for a day or more, allowing all time zones around the world to enjoy a fine view of the Perseids or Geminids. But the quadruple peak only lasts a few hours. So you have to be in the right part of the Earth – preferably with high radiation in the sky – to experience a quadruple peak. What’s more, pigeons prefer the northern hemisphere for it Radiant point It is located in the far north on the sky dome.

So you need some luck to see quadruple, and being in the northern hemisphere is beneficial. Who will witness the 2021 shower? Keep in mind that predicting Quadrantid’s peak is an informed guess, not a strict guarantee. The quadrantides are capable of producing some bright fireballs, so they might catch some meteors despite the moonlight.

However, in 2021 Meteor International Organization It gives the peak on January 3 at 14:30 UTC. If this peak prediction is correct, western North America has a good chance of viewing pigeons at their best during the dawn hours of January 3.

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Just know that meteor showers are notorious for defying your best expectations. Thus for Quadrantids – as with any meteor shower – your best plan is to simply find yourself.

Lunar calendars for 2021 are here! Still a few left. Order it before you go!

A thin, bright streak in a dark sky, with the Big Dipper visible.

Elliot Herman He wrote to EarthSky on January 1, 2019: „The first meteor of the year … an early quadruple … there are still two days on top. It even got its color as it appeared from the radiance. Notice the stars of the Big Dipper at the top of the image.“

Anywhere in mid-northern and far-north latitudes might be in a decent position to see the Quadrantids in 2021, but the bright moon will definitely intrude on this year’s display.

All other things being equal, you are likely to see most meteors when the ray is high in the sky of any meteor shower.

In the case of a quadruple shower, the point of radiation is seen above in the sky in the dark hours before dawn.

Sky diagram showing radial arrows from a point south of the Big Dipper.

From mid-northern latitudes, the Quadrantid Shower Illuminator does not climb over the horizon until after midnight.

Where is the quadrupole radiation point?

The Quadrantid radiating point forms an approximate right angle with Big Dipper And a bright star Arcturus. If you follow the quadruple meteorite paths backward, they appear to radiate from this point on the starry sky.

Now to our usual warning. You don’t need to find a meteor shower radiating to see quadruple meteors.

You just have to be in the middle of far northern or northern latitudes, in the wee hours of the morning, and hope that the climax comes just in time to your part of the world.

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Meteorites will shine from the northern sky however Appear all over the sky.

Antique engraving of an instrument resembling a sextant in a star field.

The now defunct constellation Quadran Morales, for which the Quadrantides are named. Image via Celestial Atlas.

Quadrantids are named for a constellation that no longer exists. Most meteor showers are named for the constellations they appear to radiate from. This is the case with quadruple. But the quadruple constellation no longer exists, except in memory. The name Quadrantids comes from the constellation Quadrans Muralis (Mural quadrant), Created by the French astronomer Jerome Lalland in 1795. This now-outdated constellation was located between Boötes the Herdsman and Draco the Dragon. Where did you go?

To understand the history of the quartet, we have to go back to the first notes of this shower. In early January 1825, Antonio Procalasi stated in Italy that:

… the atmosphere has passed through many luminous objects known as falling stars.

It appears to be radiating from the Quadran Morales. In 1839, Adolphe Quetelet of the Brussels Observatory in Belgium and Edward C. Herrick in Connecticut independently submitted a suggestion that Quadrantids are an annual shower.

But in 1922 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) invented a list of 88 modern constellations. The list was approved by the International Astronomical Union at the opening of its General Assembly held in Rome in May 1922. It did so. Not Includes a constellation cutout.

Today, this meteor shower retains the name Quadrantids, of the original and now outdated constellation Quadrans Muralis.

The radiant point of the Quadrantids is now at the northern end of Boötes, near the star stars Big Dipper in our sky, and not far from Boötes’s bright star Arcturus. It is located in the far north on the dome of the sky, which is why Southern Hemisphere observers probably won’t see many quadrupeds (if any) meteors. Most meteorites will not simply make them above the horizon for sky watchers in the Southern Hemisphere. But some may!

Diagram of the solar system with a very elongated orbit of an asteroid or comet.

In 2003 Peter Jenniskens suggested that this object, 2003 EH1, was the original body of the quadruple meteor shower.

Quaternary meteorites have a UFO. In 2003, astronomer Peter Jenneskins Set tentatively The original body of the tetrapods as the asteroid 2003 EH1. If that body was indeed the father of the Quadrantids, then the Quadrantids, like the Geminid meteorites, come from a rocky body – not an icy comet. a stranger.

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In contrast, though, the 2003 EH1 may be the The same Like comet C / 1490 Y1, which Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomers observed 500 years ago.

So the exact story behind the Quadrantids‘ parent being remains somewhat murky.

Conclusion: The first major meteor shower is in 2021, and every year, the quadruple meteor shower is likely to be at its best in the hours between 2 a.m. and dawn on January 3. Unfortunately, in 2021, the waning of the bright moon of Jepus means there is no dark sky during the peak hours of this year’s annual quadruple meteor showers.

Bruce McClure

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