At the beginning of January, the Quadrantids reach their maximum peak, one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year. Here's when and how to see the shooting star from Italy.
Source: NASA/MSFC Meteoroid Environment Office
In the night between Wednesday 3 H Thursday 4 January We will be able to admire as many people as we can in the sky QuatrainsOne of the most spectacular meteor showers throughout the year. these Meteors s “Falling stars“, its originAsteroid 196256 (2003 EH1) -Accord NASA a “Dead comet-, appears in the sky between the end of December and mid-January, and reaches maximum activity (Maximum peak) directly in the first days of the new year. In the 2024However, monitoring will not be the easiest, for several reasons. In addition to the very low mode of radiant In sight, Lunawhose indirect brightness (reflected light of the sun) can be canceled out the sky Most Light paths. Moreover, it will be heaven Generally cloudy In a large part of Italy, a situation that has led to Virtual telescope project (VTP) to cancel a planned live broadcast of event coverage. Despite the adverse factors, since the Quadrantids will still be visible, they will still be able to provide a show that is not to be missed. Here's everything you need to know.
When do you see quadrilaterals?
As specified, the maximum peak of the Quadrantids occurs in the first days of January, generally on the third or fourth of the month. The Italian Union of Amateur Astronomers (UAI) indicates this in 2024 Maximum activity will be reached between 10 and 11 am (Italian time) on Thursday the 4th, so it will not be possible to admire it from Italy. Best time to observe Falling stars From our country it will therefore be in the second part of the night (from midnight onwards), especially a little before thatAlba, when the number of light paths is more focused. But unfortunately, in that period of time there will be a great disturbance in the moon, which will reach a phase The last quarter (Half of the moon's disk is “illuminated” by the sun.) This will inevitably erase the faintest trails of light from the sky, leaving us to admire only the most intense and brilliant ones.
However, some may also occur racing carsTRUE “Fireballs” accompanied by the roar generated by the larger fragments left behind by the asteroid. In fact, meteors are created due to contact between debris from celestial bodies (such as comets and asteroids, in fact) and the Earth's atmosphere. When the Earth “enters” these dust clouds, the fragments ignite due to friction The intensity that determines its eradication.The color and intensity of the meteor is related to the chemical composition, angle of entry, speed, and other characteristics of the dust that emerges from it.
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Where do you see the quatrains?
Common names for meteor showers are associated with radiantThat is, the part of the sky from which it appears to have originated, which in turn takes its name from the reference constellation. This is why the famous August sunrise (“Tears of San Lorenzo”) is associated with a constellation Perseus, as well as the Orionids in Orion and the Geminids in Gemini. Quadrantids have a more curious history, since their name is derived from the name “Quadrantids”. Mural quadrilateral, a constellation no longer in use. Today is part of that Boats This is why quatrains are also known as Butides. The constellation Potes, where the radiance is framed, as previously noted on the night between 3 and 4 January 2024, will be low on the eastern horizon at the most opportune moments, so we will miss from Italy a significant part of the light trails . Thus, even in light of other limiting factors, we will see only a few of the brightest of them. But exactly how many are there?
NASA explains this ZHR (hourly xenial rate) for the Quadrantids, i.e. the maximum number of meteors visible in one hour, under the absolute best conditions – with no light pollution – It can even reach 200This is a number similar to the number of Perseids. In general, however, ZHR is believed to be this Meteor shower It is about 120. This number will be reduced sharply due to unfavorable conditions in 2024. If we can see a few dozen of them on the night between January 3 and 4, we can consider ourselves pretty lucky. Moreover, bad weather can cause them to break off completely.
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