FidoNet Echomail Archive
bama

<<< Previous Index Next >>>

From: Roger Nelson
To: All
Date: 2016-12-31 08:51:26
Subject:

New Year's Fireworks from a Shattered Comet
 
2017 is beginning with fireworks.
 
No, not those fireworks.
 
We're talking about a lightshow from shattered comet 2003 EH1.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMkxh50fo80
 
According to the International Meteor Organization and other forecasters,
Earth will pass through a stream of debris from the comet on January 3,
2017, producing a shower of meteors known as the Quadrantids.
 
The Quadrantid meteor shower is one of the most intense annual meteor
showers, typically producing meteors at a rate of more than 100 per hour
from a point in the sky near the North Star, also known as the shower's
radiant.
 
The 2017 Quadrantids are expected to peak around 1400 UT - or around 6 am
PST.  The timing favors western parts of North America and islands across
the Pacific. The peak of the Quadrantids is brief, typically lasting no
more than an hour or so, and it does not always occur at the forecasted
time. Observers everywhere are encouraged to be alert for meteors
throughout the dark hours of January 3.
 
"Extra motivation to go out and view the Quadrantids is provided by
the shower's reputation for producing spectacular fireballs," says
Brian Day of NASA's Ames Research Center. "Not only are these
fireballs memorable visual events, but also they are of scientific
interest. Anyone can participate in a citizen science effort by reporting
his or her observations. `Fireballs in the Sky' is a free app that makes
this easy. It is made available by Curtin University in partnership with
NASA."
 
Although Quadrantids can be numerous, they are observed less than other
well known meteor showers. One reason is weather. The shower peaks in early
January when northern winter is in full swing. Storms and cold tend to keep
observers inside. Another reason is brevity. The shower doesn't last long,
a few hours at most. Those willing to brave the elements while keeping
their eyes on the skies could be rewarded with a spectacular show!
 
The source of the Quadrantid meteor shower was unknown until December 2003
when Peter Jenniskens of the NASA Ames Research Center found evidence that
Quadrantid meteoroids come from 2003 EH1, an "asteroid" that is
probably a piece of a comet that broke apart some 500 years ago. Earth
intersects the orbit of 2003 EH1 at a perpendicular angle, which means we
quickly move through any debris. That's why the shower is so brief.
 
Quadrantid meteors take their name from an obsolete constellation, Quadrans
Muralis, found in early 19th-century star atlases between Draco, Hercules,
and Bootes. It was removed, along with a few other constellations, from
crowded sky maps in 1922 when the International Astronomical Union adopted
the modern list of 88 officially recognized constellations. Although the
Quadrantids now fly out of the constellation Bootes, the meteors kept their
old name.
 
Quadrantid meteors: they come from a shattered comet and an extinct constellation.
 
That sounds like they are worth a look.  Bundle up for chilly meteor
viewing on January 3.  It's a great way to start the New Year.
 
For more news about backyard astronomy, stay tuned to science.nasa.gov
 
 
Regards,
 
Roger

--- DB 3.99 + W10 (1607)
 * Origin: NCS BBS - Houma, LoUiSiAna (1:3828/7)
SEEN-BY: 120/544 123/500 138/146 140/1 153/7715 154/10 203/0 221/0 1 6 360
SEEN-BY: 227/51 230/0 240/5832 249/303 261/38 266/404 512 275/100 280/464 5003
SEEN-BY: 288/34 320/219 342/17 77 423/81 120 633/267 640/384 712/620 848 770/1
SEEN-BY: 2320/100 3634/24 3828/7
@PATH: 3828/7 140/1 221/0 1 203/0 280/464 712/848 633/267


<<< Previous Index Next >>>