ALERT: Quadrantid meteor shower

This is from Space Weather:

METEOR SHOWER: Earth is about to pass through a stream of dusty debris from near-Earth asteroid 2003 EH1, producing the annual Quadrantid meteor shower. Forecasters expect a brief but intense peak of 50+ meteors per hour over Earth’s northern hemisphere sometime between 0200 UTC and 0700 UTC on Friday morning, Jan. 4th. (Subtract 5 hours to convert UTC to EST.) The timing favors observers in the eastern USA, Europe and western parts of Asia. Winter storms frequently hide this shower from observers on the ground. To avoid such problems, a team of astronomers led by Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute plan to fly a plane above the clouds where they can train their cameras on the Quadrantids. Their data may reveal whether asteroid 2003 EH1 is the fragment of a broken-apart comet. Visit for sky maps and more information.

JUST FOR FUN: This is a good time of year to see Orion the Hunter: the constellation rises in the east at sunset. Watching Orion ascend, you may experience the little-known "constellation illusion." The idea is the same as the Moon illusion; constellations viewed near the horizon look abnormally large. Go outside tonight and look. Can you believe your eyes?

I took a walk last night.  It was very clear and very dark.  The stars seemed as if they were mere meters above my raised eyes, rather than thousands of light years.  Orion was amazing.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. I was really looking forward to this shower, but it was completely overcase here in Berkeley. It was for the Geminids too. Soon enough!

  2. Andrew says:

    Fr. Z:

    I am very glad you take time to look at the stars. I really mean it.

    “Quando video caelos tuos, opera digitorum tuorum,lunam et stellas, quae tu fundasti, quid est homo, quod memor es eius?”

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    It is CLEAR hear in Princeton, NJ. We haven’t seen many yet, but one that we did see was on the other side of the sky: a very long plummet, no trail, but big and bright. Then again, Bootes is barely above the horizon, so it might have been an errant meteorite from some other source.

    I’ll be going back outside in an hour or so once the universe has shifted itself around for my viewing pleasure.

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