Scientists: meteor new year’s «salute» will be nearly invisible because of the full moon

© NASA / Jeff Vegter of the meteor shower QuadrantidsScientists: meteor new year’s «salute» will be nearly invisible because of the full moon© NASA / Jeff Berkes

. Quadrantids, the first meteor shower of this year, which peaks in the New year and holidays, will be nearly invisible to observers due to the onset of the full moon in the middle of next week, according to the American meteor society.

«During the peak of quadrantid observers in the middle latitudes of the Northern hemisphere will be able to see about 11 of sporadic meteors in the last wee hours, watching the constellation of Bootes, if they will be outside major cities. The evening frequency will be reduced to three bursts per hour, and see them at any time of the day would be problematic because of the light of the moon,» writes astronomer Robert Lunsford (Robert Lunsford), a specialist in meteor streams.

Meteors or shooting stars we see, when the atmosphere consists of and there burning microscopic dust particles. Streams of meteors, usually associated with the passage of the Earth through the dust, leaving behind a comet. For many meteor streams are known comets that produce such starbursts.

Meteor shower Quadrantids was opened in 1835 by Belgian mathematician and astronomer Adolphe Ketele (Adolphe Quetelet). The stream got its name from the constellation of the Wall Quadrant. Now that constellation is no longer on the star maps in 1922 the international astronomical Union has redistributed the territory of this constellation between neighbors, Bootes and the Dragon. However, his name remained in the name of a meteor shower.

Another unusual feature of quadrantid is that until recently, astronomers did not know his ancestor, only in 2003, the scientists found that this «new year fireworks» gave rise to the asteroid 2003 EH1, segmented in the recent past. Further observation of them showed that he is a fragment of an ancient comet, all stocks of ice which evaporated.

This year the peak of quadrantid, according to Lunsford, will have a profound evening of 3 January, about 22-23 hours in Moscow. To find it would be easy enough — just look at the sky, find the handle of the «dipper» of URSA major and concentrate look at the empty space beneath it. Unfortunately, most people will not be able to see it for the reason that this same day will be the brightest full moon in 2018, and the light of the moon hurt to see most of the meteors burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

For this reason, astronomers suggest watching Quadrantids in the wee hours when the full Moon will almost disappear over the horizon. In this case, the owners of powerful binoculars, living in a rural backwater, will be able to see at least the bright flashes of light in the Christmas night sky. On the other hand, Quadrantids can be seen today — this thread reached the Earth on December 22, and will illuminate the night sky until 17 January.