Quadrantid meteor shower to peak Sunday night. Here’s how to watch it

Canadians stargazers will be treated to the first celestial fireworks show of 2016 Sunday night, as our planet crosses into a cloud of debris left over by a little-known asteroid.

See Full Article

The Quadrantid meteor shower occurs every January around this time and while it isn’t as long-lasting as the Perseid and Geminid showers, it’s still a sight to behold.

Andrew Fazekas, an astronomy columnist with National Geographic, says many Canadians haven’t seen the shower because they tend not to do a lot of stargazing this time of year.

“Because we’re in the middle of winter, we don’t think of going outside and skywatching. But this is really a show that’s worth looking at because it’s on par with the best meteor showers that we see in the summer,” he told CTV News Channel from Montreal Sunday.

Most meteor showers can be seen for a couple of days, but this one will last only a few hours.

The peak of the shower should be around 3 a.m. local time, Fazekas said.

“But that doesn’t mean you have to go at that time. You can actually start looking for it around 10 or 11 p.m. local time tonight,” he said.

If it is too cloudy, some shooting stars should still be visible until Monday night, he added.

The best place to view the Quadrantids – and indeed all meteor showers – is in the countryside where the sky is darkest. If it’s a clear night, upwards of 100 shooting stars per hour should be visible, Fazekas says.

But even those looking to the northeast sky in suburban areas should be able to see 30 to 60 shooting stars per hour.

This year’s Quadrantid shower is supposed to be a great one for viewing because the moon is just a crescent this week and its light won’t compete with the stars, Fazekas adds.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is named after a constellation called Quadrans Muralis (mural quadrant), which was identified in 1795, according to NASA. Although that constellation is no longer recognized by astronomers, the name has stuck.

The shower originates from an asteroid called 2003 EH1, which was identified only relatively recently, in 2003.

The shooting stars that stargazers see occur as Earth passes through 2003 EH1’s debris trail. Its dust disintegrates in our atmosphere, causing fiery streaks across the sky.

The best way to see them is not with a telescope or binoculars (those will only reduce the amount of sky you can see), but to look into the sky with relaxed eyes and wait to spot the shooting stars.



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Samsung delays its new phone, showcases tablets instead

    Tech & Science CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Samsung's product showcase Sunday is notable for what's missing: a new flagship phone. Instead, Samsung is spotlighting new Android and Windows tablets after delaying the Galaxy S8 smartphone - an indirect casualty of the unprecedented September recall of the fire-prone Note 7 phone . Source
  • Nokia relaunches iconic 3310 mobile model

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Finnish brand Nokia, a former mobile star, on Sunday launched three new Android smartphones and unveiled a revamped version of its iconic 3310 model more than a decade after it was phased out. Unlike the original, which was known for its sturdiness, the new Nokia 3310 will allow web browsing. Source
  • ZTE launches world's first 5G-ready smartphone

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Chinese telecoms giant ZTE unveiled Sunday what it said is the world's first smartphone compatible with the lightening-fast 5G mobile internet service that networks expect to have up and running by 2020. The company said the Gigabit Phone is the first smartphone capable of download speeds reaching up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) -- up to 10 times faster than the first generation of 4G services widely in use today. Source
  • Rings in stomach could be key to telling lobsters' age

    Tech & Science CTV News
    ORONO, Maine - Researchers are testing a technique they say could determine the age of lobsters. Lobsters can live to be more than 100 years old. Their ages are typically estimated based on size, as they shed their shells and grow larger as they get older. Source
  • Sap science: Researchers say this machine is a game-changer for syrup production

    Tech & Science CTV News
    UNDERHILL, Vt. -- Maple syrup doesn't get that rich flavour and colour in an instant. It's a long process from tree to bottle. But an improved technology could keep maple sugarers from working late into the night boiling sap into syrup. Source
  • Private data leaked online by Cloudflare bug

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Internet users Friday were being urged to change all their passwords in the wake of a Cloudflare bug that could have leaked passwords, messages and more from website visits. A Cloudflare service used by millions of websites to enhance security and performance said that it had fixed the flaw quickly after being alerted a week ago by Google researcher Tavis Ormandy. Source
  • BlackBerry KEYone coming in April

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    TORONTO — If you're a fan of the BlackBerry's classic physical keyboard, you will have reason to celebrate when the last product designed in part by the former smartphone leader becomes available in April. The Waterloo, Ont. Source
  • Thorny skate will not be added to endangered species list

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PORTLAND, Maine - The federal government says the thorny skate will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act. Environmental groups argued that the thorny skate's decline in the northwest Atlantic Ocean was considerable enough to afford it protections set aside for endangered animals. Source
  • 'Go to sleep. The stream can wait'; Gamer who died during 24-hour marathon 'was in rough shape'

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Virginia man who died while during a 24-hour gaming marathon appeared to be in "rough shape" before leaving for a smoke break he never returned from, a friend said. Brian Vigneault, 35, had spent about 22 hours playing the online war game World of Tanks on the streaming platform Twitch.tv. Source
  • Horizon Zero Dawn review: PS4 exclusive a perfect gaming experience

    Tech & Science Toronto Sun
    In Horizon Zero Dawn, there are robot animals to fight, bloodthirsty bandits to eliminate and millennium-spanning mysteries to uncover. Yet, every time I turned a corner in this lushly detailed video game world, I was sucked into some incredible new spectacle. Source