Quadrantids

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Quadrantids (QUA)
QUADRANTID meteor on January 3 2009.jpg
Quadrantid meteor (right) seen at twilight
Discovery date 1820s[1]
Parent body 2003 EH1
Radiant
Constellation Boötes
Right ascension 15h 28m[2]
Declination +50°[2]
Properties
Occurs during January 1–6[2]
Date of peak January 3[2]
Velocity 41[3] km/s
Zenithal hourly rate 120 [4]
See also: List of meteor showers

The Quadrantids (QUA) are a January meteor shower. The zenithal hourly rate of this shower can be as high as two other reliably rich meteor showers, the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December.[4] Yet Quadrantid meteors are not seen as often as meteors in these other two showers, because the peak intensity is exceedingly sharp, sometimes lasting only hours.

The meteor rates exceed one-half of their highest value for only about 8 hours (compared to two days for the August Perseids). This means that the stream of particles that produces this shower is narrow – and apparently deriving from and within the last 500 years from some orbiting body.[5] The parent body of the Quadrantids was tentatively identified in 2003 by Peter Jenniskens[6] as the minor planet 2003 EH1, which in turn may be related to the comet C/1490 Y1[7] that was observed by Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomers some 500 years ago.

Radiant point of Quadrantid meteor shower, active each year in early January.

The radiant point of this shower is an area inside the constellation Boötes, not far from the Big Dipper. It lies between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco.[5] This meteor shower is best seen in the northern hemisphere, but you can see Quadrantids down to -51 degrees latitude.[8]

The name comes from Quadrans Muralis, an obsolete constellation that is now part of Boötes. The French astronomer Jerome Lalande created this constellation in 1795. In early January 1825, Antonio Brucalassi in Italy reported that “the atmosphere was traversed by a multitude of the luminous bodies known by the name of falling stars.”[1] They appeared to radiate from Quadrans Muralis. In 1839, Adolphe Quetelet of Brussels Observatory in Belgium and Edward C. Herrick in Connecticut independently made the suggestion that the Quadrantids are an annual shower.[9]

In 1922, the International Astronomical Union devised a list 88 modern constellations. The list was agreed upon by the International Astronomical Union at its inaugural General Assembly held in Rome in May 1922.[10] It did not include a constellation Quadrans Muralis. The IAU officially adopted this list in 1930,[11] but this meteor shower still retains the name Quadrantids, for the original and now obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis.

Year Quadrantids active between Peak of shower ZHRmax
2008 January 1–5 Jan 4 82[12]
2009 January 1–5 Jan 3 146[13]
2010 waning gibbous Moon[14] (Full moon on Dec 31)[15]
2011 Dec 28 — Jan 12 Jan 3 90[16]
2012 Dec 28 — Jan 12 Jan 4 83[17]
2013 Jan 3 waning gibbous Moon (Full moon on Dec 28)[18] 137[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Quadrantids". meteorshowersonline.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  2. ^ a b c d Moore, Patrick; Rees, Robin (2011), Patrick Moore's Data Book of Astronomy (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 275, ISBN 0521899354. 
  3. ^ Millman, Peter M.; McKinley, D. W. R. (December 1953), "The Quadrantid Meteor Shower", Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada 47: 237, Bibcode:1953JRASC..47..237M. 
  4. ^ a b "Does the published meteor rate for a shower really represent what I should expect to see?". American Meteor Society. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Stellar Meteor Shower Jan. 3". Space.com. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  6. ^ Peter Jenniskens (Dec 8, 2003). "2003 EH1 is the Quadrantid shower parent comet". The Ephemeris (San Jose Astronomical Association newsletter). Retrieved 2004-12-17. 
  7. ^ Jenniskens, Peter (2004). "2003 EH1 Is the Quadrantid Shower Parent Comet". The Astronomical Journal 127 (5): 3018–3022. Bibcode:2004AJ....127.3018J. doi:10.1086/383213. 
  8. ^ "Quadrantid meteor shower". NASA Meteor Watch on Facebook. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  9. ^ "Everything you need to know: Quadrantid meteor shower". EarthSky. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  10. ^ "The IAU list of the 88 constellations and their abbreviations". ianridpath.com. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  11. ^ "IAU and the 88 Constellations". iau.org. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  12. ^ Quadrantids 2008: visual data quicklook
  13. ^ Quadrantids 2009: visual data quicklook
  14. ^ IMO Meteor Shower Calendar 2010: January to March
  15. ^ U.S. Naval Observatory Phases of the Moon 2009
  16. ^ Quadrantids 2011: visual data quicklook
  17. ^ Quadrantids 2012: visual data quicklook
  18. ^ U.S. Naval Observatory Phases of the Moon 2012
  19. ^ Quadrantids 2013: visual data quicklook

External links[edit]