National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Quadrantid Meteor Shower (January, 2017)

Janurary 4, 3:00, The sky of Tokyo
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Let’s Watch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower!

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower (Note 1) is considered one of the 3 major meteor showers of the year, along with the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December. In contrast with the Perseids or the Geminids, which consistently have many meteors appear each year, the Quadrantids are known to be short, with the period of increased activity lasting only several hours, and the number of meteors is variable from year to year.

The peak of the 2017 Quadrantid Meteor Shower is predicted to occur around 11 pm on the 3rd. (Note 2) The best time to watch is 2 - 3 hours before the dawn of the 4th. The moonlight will not interfere with the shower because the Moon will set before midnight. The peak time of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower is slightly offset from the best observing time in Japan, so the number of Quadrantids you can see might decrease. But, viewing conditions are still relatively good. It is predicted that up to 35 meteors per hour will be visible in dark sky areas.

(Note 1) The Quadrantids take their name from the constellation Quadrans Muralis, which is no longer recognized.Back

(Note 2) The “peak” of meteor shower activity indicates the maximum activity of the meteoric swarm itself and the time when this maximum activity occurs. Viewing location and the phase of the Moon are not considered.Back