The first meteor shower of 2024 has already begun: when and where to see its peak
Astronomical events do not correspond to the human calendar, which is why the first meteor shower of 2024 started before it officially began. We are talking about the Quadrantids, a stream with a visual source (radiant) in the constellation of Volopas.
As OBOZ.UA has found out, the Quadrantids have a pronounced peak, which occurs on January 3-4 every year. This phenomenon starts on December 28 and generally lasts until January 7. At the peak of the meteor shower, up to 120 "stars" can be seen falling from the sky.
The phenomenon got its name from the outdated name of the constellation Ursa Major, where the stream visually came from. Modern astronomy does not consider it as a separate celestial object, but the name Quadrantids has been preserved.
Along with the August Perseids and the December Geminids, this is the most powerful meteor shower that can be observed from the ground. The meteors, which burn up in the Earth's atmosphere as they pass through a belt of cosmic dust and debris, often look like balls of fire and resemble shooting stars.
The Quadrantids can be observed only from the Northern Hemisphere. And the further north the observer is, the more pronounced the phenomenon is. In the southern half of our planet, the phenomenon is usually not visible at all.
On the peak night of the Quadrantids this winter, the Moon will be in its first quarter. This means that the best time to observe the phenomenon will be after the night's sunset. The moon will be hiding around midnight.
The radiant of the meteor shower is located in the northeastern part of the sky. That is, the best position to observe the phenomenon will be lying on your back with your feet facing southeast.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA published a photo of a "Christmas tree" that can be seen with a powerful telescope in space.