The Quadrantids

January 04, 2021


Photographer: Tomas Slovinsky 
Summary Author: Tomas Slovinsky 

Shown above is a long-exposure image of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower as observed from Sardinia Island, Italy. The first meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids can produce a handful or more of shooting stars every few minutes (120 per hour). But dark, moonless skies are a must. Additionally, since the peak of this shower lasts only for several hours, timing of when you observe is critical. Note that these meteors seem to emanate from the region of the sky near the constellation of Bootes which, when this image was captured, was still below the horizon. Take a look tonight.

As shown above, the glow of the arching Milky Way stretches across nearly the entire sky. At bottom, two observers are awash in the zodiacal light; one appears to be pointing to Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Conspicuous Orion lies directly above Sirius. Note that the Big Dipper is reclining just above the rocky surface at lower center. Photo taken in early January 2020.