Scientists have announced that on January 3rd, the Quadrantid meteor shower will reach its peak. The International Meteor Organization together with other scientists has explained that our planet will traverse a portion of detritus from Comet 2003 EH1, enabling a meteor shower named the Quadrantids. The destroyed comet 2003 EH1 will put up a show even more entertaining than the New Year’s Eve fireworks, lighting up the sky with spectacular comets.
Apparently, experts claim that the Quadrantid meteor shower is known to be one of the most spectacular annual celestial events, developing a fantastic view with more than a hundred meteors per hour. These celestial objects will occur near the North Star. The peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower is not expected to last more than an hour, and some specialists claim that it does not always happen at the estimated time.
Nevertheless, they are expected to peak at approximately 10 am ET. This forecasted timing favors islands across the Pacific and the western parts of North America. Observers and stargazers around the world are encouraged to stay put throughout the entire night on January 3rd.
Brian Day, a researcher at NASA’s Ames Research Center, argued that this meteor shower is famous for producing amazing fireballs which will cross the sky, enabling a spectacular view. These celestial events represent a scientific interest besides being a memorable event. Curtin University which worked in collaboration with NASA has developed a free app called Fireballs in the Sky, making everything easier for star gazers.
Researchers noted that Quadrantids are less observable compared to other famous meteor showers. This is due to changes in weather. Northern winter is in full bloom in early January when this celestial event reaches its peak. People passionate of astronomy and star gazers tend to remain indoors due to cold and stormy weather. Another disappointing fact is the conciseness of the event. The meteor shower could last a few hours at most.
Until December 2003, the source of this spectacular celestial show was not yet known by scientists. Luckily, Peter Jenniskens, a researcher at NASA Ames Research Center, revealed evidence that Quadrantid meteors are parts of the 2003 EH1, an asteroid which may represent a piece of a comet. This comet might have disintegrated at least five hundred years ago. Terra intersects the orbit of this asteroid forming a perpendicular angle, moving through debris.
Image courtesy of: flickr