Happy New Year from everyone here at SaveNewport!
TONIGHT is the peak night to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower. The shower technically began on Dec 28th and will last until Jan 12, but the peak is Saturday night into Sunday morning.
On a rare occasion to be sad about the bright full moon, you can do that tonight, as the moons brightness will wash out all but the brightest of meteors. Still, there are worse things to do than camping out in a moonlit night! 🙂
First discovered in 1825, the Quadrantids will be the first meteor shower of 2020.
But there is no constellation named Quadrans, so where did the Quadrantids get their name? It turns out that there once was a constellation named “Quadrans Muralis” (“the Wall Quadrant”) which was incorporated into the constellation Boötes in 1922. (This is close to the Big Dipper.) This meteor shower is also known as “Bootids”– to add to the Quadrans Muralis not being a constellation any longer, the Boötes constellation is also now not officially recognized, although the name for both remains in common usage (as common as one can get for meteor shower names, that is)
Maximum meteors: around 110 meteors per hour.
Velocity: 25 miles/sec (medium/slow velocity)
Approximate Magnitude: 2.1
These meteors are leftover pieces of comet 2003 EH1.
When: As usual: The best time to see ANY meteor shower is the hour or two before dawn. Try between midnight-2am for some great results without losing *too* much sleep! You may also be able to catch some of these beforehand as spectacular “Earth Grazers”, beginning at about 9pm PST.
Where: If you can, get as high up as possible to sit above the light and air pollution to get the best sights. Top Of The World in Laguna Beach offers spectacular views, assuming cooperation from the clouds. View the night sky forecast, here: http://www.cleardarksky.com/c/IvRgPkCAkey.html
Editor’s note: If you snap a great picture of the meteor shower and would like to send it in, you can post it in the comments. We just might feature it in a photo gallery or story!