2017 Quadrantid Shower

2017 Quadrantid CompositeThe annual Quadrantid meteor shower occurs when debris from minor planet 2003 EH1 intercepts the Earth at a high velocity (41 km/s, 92,000 mph). This parent body is itself probably a burned out comet. Meteor showers are named for the constellation of their radiant. The Quadrantids are unusual in being named for Quadrans Muralis, a constellation name that is no longer in use. This shower is sometimes called the Boötids because the radiant is found in the constellation Boötes.

This is a composite image of 90 meteors recorded between sunset on December 31 and sunrise on January 4. Although the image was collected over about eight hours, most of the meteors occurred during just a few hours before dawn each day. Because of this, and also because of its high declination, the radiant of the shower is quite apparent in this image.

The conditions this year were excellent, with clear skies and no interference from the Moon. The shower didn't produce very many fireballs, although this one at 04:31:09 MST on the morning of January 3 was very nice.

© Copyright 2017, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.