Quadrantids

Quadrantids

[kwo-dran-tidz]
The Quadrantids are a strong January meteor shower.

The radiant of this shower is an area inside the constellation Boötes. The name comes from Quadrans Muralis, an obsolete constellation that is now part of Boötes.

The parent body of the Quadrantids was recently tentatively identified (in a paper by Peter Jenniskens) as the minor planet 2003 EH1, which in turn may be the same object as the comet C/1490 Y1 which was observed by Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomers 500 years ago.

The best date to view the Quadrantids is January 3, although they can normally be viewed on any day from the 1st to the 5th of the month. The radiant rises after local midnight. According to a few websites, one Quadrantid will be viewable on January 4, 2008 with mention of it being viewable over the eastern United States and western Europe. NASA will use a Gulfstream V aircraft to study the meteor shower.

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