STATES CHRONICLE – This year has started big in terms of astronomical events but, to our disappointment, not all of them are spectacular. The first full moon of January was a supermoon, and it offered us a breathtaking show on the first night of the year. Shortly after, we should enjoy the first meteor shower, the Quadrantids. Unfortunately, this might turn out extremely difficult to watch.
The Quadrantids, the first meteor shower of the year
The Quadrantids should appear on the dark sky Wednesday night up until early morning on Thursday, and should be visible in the Northern hemisphere. However, it’s hard to tell when they would peak. For many years, the first meteor shower of this year was well-known to be bright, displaying an impressive number of 50 to 100 visible falling meteors.
Unfortunately, this year, the show won’t be as spectacular as we are used to. Given their proximity to the Super Wolf Moon, the Quadrantids will more likely be eclipsed by its blinding light. This happens as the moon will continue shining even a few days after reaching totality. Even if this year’s shower will consist of about 40 meteors per hour, the remaining light of the moon will make it hard for us to spot them.
The meteor shower won’t be too visible
Most meteor showers visible on our planet are remaining pieces of comets. However, the Quadrantids are different. Researchers think they are remnants of an asteroid, 2003 EH1. They say this formation used to be a comet, but time removed its ice cover and all the other layers typical of such a cosmic object.
Last year was extremely rich in meteor showers and spectacular astronomic events. Unfortunately, 2018 is a little poorer, with a smaller offer of events. Even so, whenever there’s something exciting to watch on the sky, make sure you choose a relatively isolated place, with few light pollution. Also, take some time to adjust your vision to complete darkness.
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