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Quadrantids, 2009/1/3

Started by Dave Mitsky, 01/03/2009 04:45AM
Posted 01/03/2009 04:45AM Opening Post
This morning I drove to the Astronomical Society of Harrisburg's Naylor Observatory and observed 30 Quadrantid meteors over a span of approximately two hours. I counted only nine during the first hour, which began shortly after 3:00 a.m. EST (7:00 UT). At 3:20 a.m., I saw my first meteor. Clouds covered the northern sky after the first hour so I spent some time in the Asper Building, warming up and having some hot cocoa. I was about to leave when the sky began to clear. I decided to stay and counted for another hour until morning twilight brought things to a halt.

Of the 30 definite sightings, nine were rather dim, third magnitude or so. Six of the meteors were bright, between first and zero magnitude, with one or two of them perhaps as bright as -1. There were another five possible meteors that I caught with peripheral vision, so my total may actually have been 35.

All of the Quadrantids that I saw were white and many of them were rather slow moving. There was a mixture of short and longer lasting meteors and none left a persistent train. Most of them emanated from the vicinity of the Big Dipper, particularly around the handle. The limiting magnitude at the observatory was a bit better than 5.0 and the temperature was 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius).

Dave Mitsky

Chance favors the prepared mind.

De gustibus non est disputandum.