Sunday 5 January 2014

The Quadrantid Fireball

The Quadrantids have been a bit of a disappointment.

After seeing a bright meteor the night before maximum, hopes were high that the night of maximum itself would be better. Well, it wasn't. The skies were good, if not frosty clear, and I settled outside for what I was hoping would a be a jolly old evening of meteor spotting.

I saw one in 40 minutes.

That, to say the least, was unexpected. I know this shower has a narrow maximum, but still...

So as I left my flat last night to go and meet a friend, I barely even bothered to look up at the sky for any meteors. And then, as I turned my key in the door, a flash lit up my face, and made me jump out of my skin.

I looked up at neck-cricking speeds, and saw an orange-yellow Quadrantid leaving a marked smoke trail as it passed through Taurus, heading South-East. I thought it was magnitude -4 or so at the time, but this was more based on the flash lighting up my face. The meteor itself was as bright, or brighter, than Jupiter, so perhaps mag. -2 - -3 would be nearer the mark.

Still, it was an impressive sight, and the night got better as I walked through town, as I saw, foraging for food by The Fox and Crown.

As friends told me; it must surely be a good omen.

No comments:

Post a Comment