2013 Quadrantid Shower

2013 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 79 meteors recorded between sunset on January 2 and sunrise on January 3. Although the image was collected over about eight hours, most of the meteors occurred during just a couple of hours (see the frequency plot below). 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 fair- clear weather, but some interference from a waning gibbous Moon. The Moon has been digitally removed from this composite image, except for a single frame.

Fireball videos:

This chart plots the total meteor activity over the evening of January 2/3. The radiant rose in Colorado at about UT 05:00, and astronomical twilight began at UT 12:45, extending to dawn at UT 14:20. The hourly rate is a simple raw count, uncorrected for ZHR. The predicted peak was UT 10:00, which is quite close to the observed peak between 10:30 and 10:45. The meteors recorded here are magnitude 1 and brighter.

2013 Quadrantid Activity


© Copyright 2013, Chris L Peterson. All rights reserved.