Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2021
- Frosty Drew Observatory
- Sat, Jan 2, 2021 8:30 pm - Sun, Jan 3, 2021 5:30 am
- $5 Suggested Donation per Person
UPDATE: January 2, 2021 16:36 ===========
Tonight's forecast is calling for mostly clear conditions with wind. After midnight, clouds will begin to move back in slowly. Considering that the bright lunar phase and daytime peak prediction times, our astronomers do not think the shower will be all that active. Regardless, they will be on site to observe the meteor shower, and will welcome visitors who want to join them. We may or may not have telescopes set up for viewing, and the primary 16" observatory telescope will remain closed. If clouds become too heavy, we will close up at that time. Tickets will not be required for those wanting to visit tonight. Please note that RI regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are still in force, and do not allow groups of people that are not in the same immediate household. Please read our update on how the pandemic effects us before visiting, and be sure to follow the guidance it gives! The observatory courtyard will be limited to 50 guests at a time. If that number is exceeded, we will close our gate until enough visitors depart. There will not be any indoor access to escape the cold on site tonight. So be prepared!
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower is one of the best (if not the best) meteor shower of the year. Quadrantid Meteors are bright with a greenish hue, many of which are fireball meteors. A quite lively shower, the Quadrantids can produce upwards of 120 meteors per hour during the peak, when observed under excellent conditions. This year, the Moon will sport an 87% waning gibbous phase and will rise around 8:12 pm. Which will, unfortunately, place the bright Moon above the horizon for the best observing times.
The projected peak timings for 2021, do not favor eastern North America, with the peak expected at 9:30 am ET. Though predictions are not always spot on. Last year, the peak was projected in the evening hours of January 3rd, but actually kicked in during the early morning hours of the 4th. Overall, the 2021 shower, will not be a spectacular viewing, largely due to the presence of the Moon. But we will try our best to observe the shower.
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower has a very brief peak period, lasting only 3-6 hours in duration. Timings of the peak period have a significant impact on how awesome the shower will be. The radiant point of the shower, the defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis, is located in between the handle of the big dipper and the constellation Bootes. This region of the sky sits on the north horizon at 8:00 pm for our location, and will ride the NNE horizon until about 9:30 pm. The higher in the sky the radiant point the better the shower. Predictions of the peak window are centered on 9:30 am ET.
Temperatures will be cold so be sure to dress warm! Winter coats, long johns, thick socks, hat, gloves, good winter shoes, and blankets (while observing meteors) are a necessity. Be sure to bring a blanket to lay on or a reclining chair for optimal meteor observation.
Take a minute to read up on visiting the Frosty Drew Observatory and catch up on what to / not to bring and how to adequately prepare for a comfortable nigh of meteor watching.
Please note that we do not allow any white lights on our campus from dusk - dawn. This is to ensure an equally awesome view of the night sky for all as well as to allow for the use of light sensitive astronomical equipment. Learn more about why we have this requirement in The Red Light District
Grab those binoculars, dust off that telescope, and join us under the beautiful dark skies at Frosty Drew Observatory and kick off the year with the Quadrantids!