Forecasts were good for the Quadrantid meteor shower set to peak this morning so I decided to check it out since this was one of the yearly showers I had not yet witnessed. Of course, although we’ve been having very above-average temperatures around here the past few weeks last night it decided to plummet close to the single digits, with windchill on top of that to bring the “feels like” temperature forecast from Weather.com down to -2°F. Man I thought I had on enough layers – I was wrong. I was out on the roof just after 2am and 15 minutes later I was back inside getting scarfs for my face. A little over an hour in and my extremities started to hurt. Close to an hour after that, just before 4am, I saw my 25th meteor and called it. When I got back inside I didn’t warm up until I had stripped off most of my outer layers because they were so cold the heat from inside the house wasn’t reaching me!
So the shower itself was about average. 25 meteors isn’t so bad for my neck of the woods. Unlike some other showers like the Perseids that are known for fast meteors, the Quadrantids have slower moving, brighter ones. Indeed that’s mostly what I saw whenever I caught one. The ones that burned bright and long across the sky were quite beautiful. One was definitely throwing off a noticeable blue glow. It’s really hit-or-miss for me since I have a lot of light pollution so when a dense shower is forecast I have to hope that most of the dust particles are large, but not this time. I’m sure people way out in the mountains saw 3 times as many easily. One meteor either came at me head on or was an iridium flare, as a spot of light in the sky grew bright and then dimmed out. That was pretty cool. Most showed up around the tail of the Big Dipper.
This shower is very capable of producing meteors worth watching. Hopefully next year will be just as good if not better if I can catch it.