2019 Quadrantids Meteor Shower
What better way to start the New Year other than a Meteor Shower Party?! The 2019 Quadrantids will peak when the Moon is below the horizon giving us favourable conditions for the spectacle. Here is precisely what you need to know:
What causes the Quadrantids Meteor Shower?
It is thought the most likely cause of the Quadrantids is an object called "2003 EH1" considered to be an extinct comet. This object orbits the Sun every 5 and a bit years and it leaves a debris trail whilst on its journey - the Earth also orbits the Sun but on a different path so we smash into the trail left behind 2003 EH1.
No Moon? Where is the Moon?
We still have our trusty companion don't worry! The Moon sets during the afternoon and isn't seen again until just before sunrise.
What time is best?
It will be best to try and stay out past midnight on the 3rd / early hours 4th January. Remember lots of layers, hot drinks, wooly socks, a hat and patience.
How many meteors will you see?
The Zenith Hourly Rate is 110. This can vary wildly depending on your local light pollution, altitude of the radiant (point at which meteors appear to come from), cloud cover etc.
The more eyes on the sky the better - so invite friends. Download the free Celestron SkyPortal App to navigate your way around the sky. Keep warm! Give your eyes at least 20 minutes to adjust to the dark and try to find a dark place away from artificial light.
If you spot a meteor or better still, photograph one - make sure you send your pictures to us!