First Meteor Shower Of 2014...Sun To Steal US Show - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

First Meteor Shower Of 2014...Sun To Steal US Show

Early each January, the Quadrantid meteor shower provides one of the most intense annual celestial fireworks displays, with a brief, sharp peak lasting only a few hours. Early each January, the Quadrantid meteor shower provides one of the most intense annual celestial fireworks displays, with a brief, sharp peak lasting only a few hours.

NBCNEWS.COM - Early each January, the Quadrantid meteor shower provides one of the most intense annual celestial fireworks displays, with a brief, sharp peak lasting only a few hours. That peak occurs Friday (Jan. 3), but this year the sun will spoil the show for stargazers in North America.

The 2014 Quadrantid meteor shower will peak Friday at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT), in the middle of the day for most of North America, so the best meteor views will be in other parts of the world, where night has already fallen.

At its best, the Quadrantids can dazzle observers with between 60 and 120 meteors an hour. But because the peak time Friday falls in the middle of the day, U.S. observers can likely only hope to see a fraction of that peak rate before sunrise and after sunset on Friday. [Photos: Amazing Quadrantid Meteor Shower Views by Stargazers]

When and where to look
In 2014, a strong display of Quadrantid meteors is likely for central and eastern Asia, including Japan. 

As mentioned above, peak activity is expected at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) Friday evening, when the radiant of this shower is ascending the dark northeastern sky. It will be early Saturday morning local time across Asia during the best viewing time, and with no moonlight to interfere this might turn out to be one of the best meteor displays of the year. Morning twilight will not interfere until about 6 a.m. local time.

But what does that mean for those of us here in North America? 

Since it will be Friday afternoon along the East Coast and noon on the West Coast, observers will have to rise before dawn or wait until after sunset, local time. Both options mean observers will see fewer meteors in the night sky because of the peak period's unfortunate timing this year.

If you venture out to look before sunrise on Friday morning, the meteor shower radiant will be well up in the northeast sky, but it will many hours before the actual peak. You might catch sight of perhaps 10 to 20 "Quads" during an hour's watch.

There will likely be even fewer meteors that might be seen early on Friday evening, but these "might" turn out to be spectacular "earthgrazers" — meteors that skim across our upper atmosphere on long, majestic paths. The emanation point of the Quadrantids at that time will be low in the northwest sky. 

If you do head out to look for meteors, remember to bundle up! Just as with the Geminid meteor shower in December, observers should remember to wear warm clothing, make sure they are away from city lights (which can interfere with any meteor shower displays) and settle in to a reclining chair for a more comfortable viewing experience.

Editor's note: If you snap an amazing photo of the Quadrantid meteor shower and you'd like to share it for a possible story or image gallery, please send images, comments and any other observing details to managing editor Tariq Malik at spacephotos@space.com.

Crumbs of a dead comet?
Because the influx of Quadrantid meteors is sharply peaked, with the bluish "shooting star" streaks occurring at only half their maximum rate six hours before and after peak time, the stream of particles is a narrow one — possibly derived relatively recently from a small comet. 

In fact, in 2003, astronomer Peter Jenniskens of NASA, found a near-Earth asteroid (2003 EH1) that seemed like it wasin the right orbit to make the Quadrantids. Some astronomers think that this asteroid is really a piece of an old, "extinct" comet; perhaps a comet that was recorded by Chinese, Korean, and Japanese observers during the years 1490-91. Maybe that comet broke apart, and some of the pieces became the meteoroids that make up the Quadrantids.

The Quadrantid meteor shower radiates from the northeast corner of the constellation of Bootes, the Herdsman, so we might expect them to be called the "Bootids." But back in the late 18th century, there was another constellation in the same spot dubbed the Quadrans Muralis, the "Mural or Wall Quadrant" (an astronomical instrument)

Quadrans Muralis is long-obsolete star pattern, invented in 1795 by J.J. Lalande to commemorate the instrument used to observe the stars in his catalogue. Adolphe Quetelet of Brussels Observatory discovered the shower in the 1830's, and shortly afterward it was noted by several astronomers in Europe and America. Thus they were christened "Quadrantids" and even though the constellation from which these meteors appear to radiate no longer exists, the shower's original moniker continues to this day.

Joe Rao serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmer's Almanac and other publications, and he is also an on-camera meteorologist for News 12 Westchester, N.Y. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on SPACE.com.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    22-year-old Sandpoint man dies in Clayton 395 crash

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-07-21 05:58:53 GMT

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Washington State Patrols responded to a fatal crash in Stevens County Friday evening. On SR-395 in Clayton near Mile Post 185, a vehicle crossed the center line and crashed head on with another car, killing the driver. The causing driver who was transported to the hospital is in custody for vehicular homicide. There were no other occupants of either vehicle. 

    >>
  • Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Amazon.com to bring more than 1,500 jobs to Spokane

    Friday, July 20 2018 8:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 00:37:29 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Seattle-based Amazon.com is opening a fulfillment center in Spokane, promising more than 1,500 full-time jobs.    The company announced on Friday that it was opening its first fulfillment center in eastern Washington.    The 600,000-square foot center will be built near the Spokane International Airport.

    >>
  • Court docs: Kootenai Behavioral Health therapist charged with rape, abuse of underage patient

    Court docs: Kootenai Behavioral Health therapist charged with rape, abuse of underage patient

    Saturday, July 21 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-07-21 05:02:56 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A therapist at Kootenai Behavior Health is accused of having sex with an underage patient "hundreds of times" according to court documents. He's been charged with rape and sexual abuse, and is currently on administrative leave from the hospital during the investigation.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A therapist at Kootenai Behavior Health is accused of having sex with an underage patient "hundreds of times" according to court documents. He's been charged with rape and sexual abuse, and is currently on administrative leave from the hospital during the investigation.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Man suspected in LA standoff double shooting

    Man suspected in LA standoff double shooting

    Saturday, July 21 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-07-22 00:21:54 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>
  • Inslee selected to lead governors’ education and workforce committee for 4th consecutive term

    Inslee selected to lead governors’ education and workforce committee for 4th consecutive term

    Saturday, July 21 2018 6:11 PM EDT2018-07-21 22:11:23 GMT
    Governor Jay Inslee - TwitterGovernor Jay Inslee - Twitter

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - The National Governors Association today announced that Gov. Jay Inslee will again co-lead the group’s Education & Workforce Committee, one of five standing NGA committees responsible for governors’ collective, bipartisan advocacy on federal policies. 

    >>

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - The National Governors Association today announced that Gov. Jay Inslee will again co-lead the group’s Education & Workforce Committee, one of five standing NGA committees responsible for governors’ collective, bipartisan advocacy on federal policies. 

    >>
  • New Mexico man who fed wildlife at his home bitten by bear

    New Mexico man who fed wildlife at his home bitten by bear

    Saturday, July 21 2018 5:51 PM EDT2018-07-21 21:51:34 GMT
    Cropped Photo: Mark Watson / Flickr  / MGNCropped Photo: Mark Watson / Flickr / MGN

    ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - Officials say a 70-year-old southern New Mexico man who regularly fed wildlife at his home suffered multiple injuries when he was bitten by a bear as he stepped outside. The state Game and Fish Department says conservation officers went to the man's Cloudcroft home Friday after his wife drove him to an Alamogordo hospital for treatment of injuries that included arm puncture wounds and leg scratches. 

    >>

    ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) - Officials say a 70-year-old southern New Mexico man who regularly fed wildlife at his home suffered multiple injuries when he was bitten by a bear as he stepped outside. The state Game and Fish Department says conservation officers went to the man's Cloudcroft home Friday after his wife drove him to an Alamogordo hospital for treatment of injuries that included arm puncture wounds and leg scratches. 

    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Man suspected in LA standoff double shooting

    Man suspected in LA standoff double shooting

    Saturday, July 21 2018 8:21 PM EDT2018-07-22 00:21:54 GMT

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>

    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store. Officer Mike Lopez, a police spokesman, says the man had fled from the scene after the Saturday afternoon shooting in South Los Angeles. 

    >>
  • Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Buckshot and L Road fires in Mattawa both nearing containment

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:37 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:37:00 GMT

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>

    MATTAWA, Wash. - The Southeast Washington Interagency Incident Management Team says the Buckshot fire is now 93 percent contained Saturday afternoon. The Road L fire near the Vernita bridge is now 75 percent contained.

    >>
  • Spokane PD arrests convicted felon downtown

    Spokane PD arrests convicted felon downtown

    Saturday, July 21 2018 7:16 PM EDT2018-07-21 23:16:11 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police arrested a convicted felon who had multiple stolen possessions near a downtown motel. Downtown Precinct Officers were conducting foot patrol in a high drug activity area, when they observed a man with n active Felony warrant for his arrest near the Downtowner motel on S Washington. Justin Dustin was immediately contacted by police. He tried to discard his backpack and broke a glass window inside the motel in the process.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police arrested a convicted felon who had multiple stolen possessions near a downtown motel. Downtown Precinct Officers were conducting foot patrol in a high drug activity area, when they observed a man with n active Felony warrant for his arrest near the Downtowner motel on S Washington. Justin Dustin was immediately contacted by police. He tried to discard his backpack and broke a glass window inside the motel in the process.

    >>