Universe Guide


Quadrantids Meteor Shower

The Quadrantids meteor shower takes place within the boundaries constellation of the Bootes. The meteor showers occurs between Jan 01 - Jan 05 with the peak occuring on the Jan 03 every year . The Solar Longitude, mistakenly known as Lambda Omicron is 283 degrees. This value sometimes expressed as S.L. or λ ☉ is the the date of maximum activity. It is measured as a degree with zero degree indicating spring equinox (roughly March 21st/22nd). 90 is the Summer Solstice, 180 is the Autumn Equinox and 270 is the Winter Solstice. This degree is independent of the calender. AMS .

The Quadrantids are the first meteor Shower to be seen in the solar calendar after making appearance from the very start of the year. Although it has a very high ZHR, they are very faint and are not that spectacular compared to other meteor showers. Whilst some meteor showers such as Geminids are celebrated because their peak intensity can last hours, Quantrantids are brief.

Although they radiant from the constellation of Bootes, they are not named after the constellation. They are named after a now a no longer constellation Quadrans Muralis (Mural Quadrant) which is now consumed into the constellations of Bootes and Draco. The original constellation was created by French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795 but was dropped by the International Astronomical Union in 1922 when they agreed upon the current list of 88 constellations. Although the constellation fell out of use, the name for the meteor shower stayed.

The source of the meteor shower is believed to be an asteroid much in the same way as the Geminids are. However in this case, the object in question is believed to be asteroid 2003 EH1 which in turn is believed to be related to a comet C/1490 Y1 which was observed hundreds of years ago by Chinese, Japanese and Korean Astronomers.

The source of the meteor shower is 2003 EH1. The closest star to the radiant point of the meteor shower is Nekkar. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (230.2) and the Declination (49.5).

The Zenith Hourly Rate or how many you expect to see during the hour is 120. The ZHR can radically increase if the comet or associated object is close by. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 41 km/s. The population index of the meteor shower is 2. The population index refers to the magnitude distribution of the meteorites, the smaller the index, the brighter the meteors are, the higher, the dimmer the meteors are. For this particular meteor shower, faint meteors are more frequent.

Quadrantids Meteor Shower Facts

Associated Asteroid2003 EH1
Closest Star to Radiant PointNekkar
Max Activity Date03 Jan
Population Index2
Activity PeriodJan 01 - Jan 05
Right Ascension230.2
Solar Longitude / λ ☉283 °
Zenith Hourly Rate120
Semi-Major Axis3

Location of the Radiant Point for the Quadrantids Meteor Shower

Map showing the location of where the Quadrantids radiate from within Bootes

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