Thursday, January 3, 2008
Quadrantid Meteor Shower Tonight
Sorry to get the news to you so late, but I hope that you have already heard about the Quadrantid Meteor Shower that will be peaking tonight or really tomorrow morning around 1:40 am eastern time or 10:40 pm tonight pacific standard time. This is one of the years higher rate showers with a possible peak of 100 meteors per hour though more likely around 60-70 per hour. The conditions are perfect tonight for viewing on the east coast with a not too bright moon and very clear skies. The only problem is the cold weather so if you are going to go out tonight be sure to bundle up. The radiant, or source of the meteors, is the Bootes constellation which contains the bright star Arcturus and is near the handle of the big dipper. The parent object of this shower had long been assumed to be comet 96P/Macholz, but recent investigations have shown it to be a degassed comet body, asteroid 2003 EH1, discovered during the LONEOS search program on March 6th, 2003. It is possible this object is the lost comet C/1490 Y1. Also a few NASA scientists will be flying in a Gulfstream V aircraft to study the shower.
Well I hope that you can make it out there tonight to see a few shooting stars. And good luck with seeing as many as you can. If you do get out there and see anything interesting I would love to hear about it so you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or of course leave a comment on this post.