Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
NASA Space Science

Brief But Intense Meteor Shower On January 4th 48

PolygamousRanchKid writes with this quote: "Sky watchers are in for their first treat of 2012, as the short but intense Quadrantid meteor shower will light up the northern sky in the early morning of Jan. 4. According to a NASA web page on the Quadrantids, there could be as many as 200 meteors per hour, though the average rate is about 60 to 100 per hour. ... The Quadrantids have not been studied as extensively as some of the better-known meteor showers like the Perseids and Geminids, possibly because it's best visible in far northern latitudes, where its appearance coincides with cold weather."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Brief But Intense Meteor Shower On January 4th

Comments Filter:
  • I for one support our new metoric overlords
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... UTC, I have to assume.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You mean GMT? Morning has no meaning as applied to UTC.

    • 3am "local time", they say on NASA web page... What "local" time?! Come on, NASA!

      • Re:Early morning (Score:5, Informative)

        by edjs ( 1043612 ) on Monday January 02, 2012 @09:44PM (#38568402)
        They're saying the best time to view the shower is after the moon sets, which will be roughly 3am local for each time zone.
      • Re:Early morning (Score:4, Informative)

        by Hydian ( 904114 ) on Tuesday January 03, 2012 @11:31AM (#38572260)

        "Local Time" means exactly what it says. It is local to the reader/listener. You celebrated new years at midnight local time. The spot on the earth that will be pointing in the right direction to see the meteors will be located at a position where it is currently 3am. The direction will not change, but the earth will continue to rotate under it. It will continue to be 3am in that position (give or take a second or two to account for the earth's orbit) for the entire night.

        Don't get mad at NASA because you don't understand time zones and their usage.

  • My wife is happy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AG the other ( 1169501 ) on Monday January 02, 2012 @05:58PM (#38566472)

    The 4th is our 37th wedding anniversary and the sky is celebrating.

    • Congrats! :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Our 37th wedding anniversary is on the 11th. Apparently there is no meteor shower scheduled on that date. Guess I'd better not tell the wife, she couldn't care less anyway!

    • The 4th is our 37th wedding anniversary and the sky is celebrating.

      As I understand meteor showers, she should be happy about a meteor shower on your anniversary every year, then.

      • Not as far as I recall.

        • I see a reference to a Jan 3 peak here:


          Basically, meteor showers come at the same time every year, since this one is so "sharp," (8 hours of sparkles) it probably is only worth watching at a particular longitude every 4 years or so (as the Earth rotates 365.25 times around the sun...), but, if you're willing to travel for it, this meteor shower should hit on or about Jan 4 every year, as the Earth passes through the constellation Boötes.

          • Thanks man. Astronomy is not my thing so I don't know much about it. I'll try to remember to look for it on our anniversary every election year.


    • A 37 year long marriage is just as amazing as a meteor shower. Gratz.

    • Nice, congratulations!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 02, 2012 @06:00PM (#38566486)
    • 75% moon will make it difficult to observe except for the brightest exemplars.

    • Cheers for that! I don't suppose you know why they list both the UK and Scotland in the times/locations list do you?
  • Go Quadrantids!
    Max. will presumably occur during daylight hours in Europe, where I am.


    • by Gordonjcp ( 186804 ) on Monday January 02, 2012 @07:19PM (#38566990) Homepage

      Apparently it'll be about 7am GMT, so it'll still be dark for an hour or so up here.

      If it's cloudy where you are, then try listening for some meteor scatter [] propagation. Get an FM broadcast radio, and tune for a distant station, well out of range. If a meteor burns up in the right part of the sky, the trail of ionised gas will reflect radio waves for a few seconds and you'll hear a "ping" of signal.

      If you have a proper FM tuner and a directional aerial, try aiming it more-or-less at the direction the meteors are coming from.

      • Thanks for the tips Gordo. Really appreciate them, though am aware of them.

        Meteor watching more than anything else has the capacity to bring astronomy
        and our place within the universe really home, to the uninitiated.
        I'm in Holland btw.

      • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

        Did... did you just tell people how to take a FM radio and basically make a Meteor Shower Sonar?


        1) That "Bill Nye" becomes a title much like Batman or Barney the Dinosaur which is passed on from person to person so that children and adults alike may understand that "Science Rules."

        2) That Gordonjcp be nominated for said position, until he elects to resign or otherwise retire.

  • Rebooking my flight for the 5th.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.