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The Urban Astronomer

Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 - peaks January 3-4

30 Dec 2011, 18:05 UTC
Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012 - peaks January 3-4
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The annual Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks on January 3rd and 4th, with the possibility to deliver a great show for viewers across North America. The Moon will interfere in the early stages of viewing, but despite that, the shower should be a good one.Meteor showers typically are strongest after midnight, when the Earth's 'front face' is moving directly into the meteor stream as the Earth moves in its orbit around the Sun. In addition, many meteor showers have a peak where the meteor stream is strongest. This year, North America is well positioned for the Quadrantid peak. For those of us on the west coast of the US, the peak should start around 11:00 pm on Tuesday January 3rd, and continue into the morning hours of Wednesday the 4th. You can read more about the meteor shower peak in an excellent article from the American Meteor Society. The Quadrantid 'radiant' is near the handle of the Big Dipper, which will be high in the sky in the morning hours.Viewing the shower is easy. From 11:00 pm until 2:00 am (west coast time), face east as the radiant rises and climbs into the night sky. Later in the night, after 2:00 ...

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