Quadrantids to see the first shooting stars of the year

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The Quadrantids are a great reason to turn your eyes to sky in these first nights January. Night between 3 and 4in fact, it will be the best time to observe the meteor shower Quadrantids (or Bootidae). And – why not – also healthy Venus AND Quicksilver.

How to see the Quadrantids

The Quadrantids they are some of the best meteor showers of the year and they don’t come from a comet, but from asteroidcalled the 2003 EH1.

According to NASA, during their peak, which repeats immediately in the first days of each new year, under perfect sky conditions you can see 60 to 200 meteors per hour. The peak in 2024reports EarthSky, it will happen – unfortunately – in bright daylight, at 12:53 GMT on January 4th, i.e. 13:53 Italian time, and will last only a few hours. For this reason, experts from the Italian Union of Amateur Astronomers (UAI) recommend putting your nose in the air between midnight and dawn on January 4when the radiant (ie, the area of ​​the sky from which the Quadrantids appear to originate, corresponding to the area north of the constellation Bota) gradually rises above the horizon, increasing the frequency of sightings.

As always, it is better to choose a place to observe the sky away from the city lightsbut the observation will also be unpleasant Moonwhose light will allow only the brightest meteors to be seen.

Although less obvious as we move away from the swarm maximum, the Quadrantids will be detectable in the Northern Hemisphere. until January 12.

Venus and Mercury

January sunrises are also a good time to look for Venus and Mercury in the sky.

Venus will be clearly visibleEastern horizon from about 3 hours before sunrise. However, watch out for the time getting shorter towards the end of the month.

Observation Quicksilver it will be a bit more difficult because the planet looks bigger small AND less bright Venus and rising on the near eastern horizon at first dawn. On January 8 – we read on the UAI website – it will rise 1 hour and 43 minutes before the Sun, becoming even more difficult to observe towards the end of the month as it descends towards the horizon.

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