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Brief But Intense Meteor Shower On January 4th

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the obscuring-the-alien-invasion dept.

NASA 48

PolygamousRanchKid writes with this quote: "Sky watchers are in for their first treat of 2012, as the short but intense Quadrantid meteor shower will light up the northern sky in the early morning of Jan. 4. According to a NASA web page on the Quadrantids, there could be as many as 200 meteors per hour, though the average rate is about 60 to 100 per hour. ... The Quadrantids have not been studied as extensively as some of the better-known meteor showers like the Perseids and Geminids, possibly because it's best visible in far northern latitudes, where its appearance coincides with cold weather."

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48 comments

Slashdot is ghay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566394)

But how ghay will it be by the end of 2012?
Only you know.

Early morning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566412)

... UTC, I have to assume.

Re:Early morning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566842)

You mean GMT? Morning has no meaning as applied to UTC.

Re:Early morning (1)

BarfooTheSecond (409743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38568170)

3am "local time", they say on NASA web page... What "local" time?! Come on, NASA!

Re:Early morning (5, Informative)

edjs (1043612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38568402)

They're saying the best time to view the shower is after the moon sets, which will be roughly 3am local for each time zone.

Re:Early morning (3, Informative)

Hydian (904114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572260)

"Local Time" means exactly what it says. It is local to the reader/listener. You celebrated new years at midnight local time. The spot on the earth that will be pointing in the right direction to see the meteors will be located at a position where it is currently 3am. The direction will not change, but the earth will continue to rotate under it. It will continue to be 3am in that position (give or take a second or two to account for the earth's orbit) for the entire night.

Don't get mad at NASA because you don't understand time zones and their usage.

Yeah, I'll watch it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566448)

... through all the Michigan snowfall and clouds, lying on my icy roof. It'll be great!

GMT time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566464)

So, when is it gonna be most intense? At 3 AM my local time? It will rain for whole day (NASA says just a few hours), so everyone can get most of it at 3 AM? Or its 3 AM for some place in USA that seems to be obvious choice for everyone, but me...

My wife is happy (4, Interesting)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38566472)

The 4th is our 37th wedding anniversary and the sky is celebrating.

Just curious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566810)

Have you stayed together this long because:

A) You have a religious/social sense of obligation.
B) You have kids, and separating would be too hard on them.
C) You can't afford a divorce.
D) You have an open relationship and regularly go on adventures without one another, but still like each other too.
E) You actually still like each other, and would prefer to continue spending time together rather than every thing/one else you could be doing.

Personally I haven't found anyone to be interesting or interested enough to justify a lifelong commitment. The world is just too full of variety to pass it all up. I also don't know very many people who stick with it this long, or would ever want to, so I am curious as to the motivations of those who do.

Re:Just curious (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38567242)

That's a really good question, but considering that OP has been married 37 years that makes them at least 55 (assuming they were 18 when they married). So it's probably A or B. But then again I don't know OP so I have no idea :P

Re:Just curious (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38567576)

Supposing their kids (if any) were born -2 to +2 years of their marriage, I don't think option B would apply. 'Kids' that age should be able to handle that. But I don't know OP either, or his kids for that matter :)

Saying that the sky is celebrating sounds kinda religious though ;)

Re:Just curious (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38569854)

Saying that the sky is celebrating sounds kinda religious though ;)

In a vacuum, it might sound that way. But not when one understands that the original topic of discussion was a meteor shower.

Re:Just curious (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38570760)

Yes, well, I did understand that, but my comment was about anthropomorphizing the skies. Or theomorphizing. Whatever.

Re:Just curious (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38572642)

Actually, I thought it rather poetic (in the positive sense).

Re:Just curious (1)

jimshatt (1002452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38575162)

Yes, yes, I don't disagree with that. But since GGGGGP's option A was to do with religion I thought I'd quip about that. Not a very good joke, I know... No harm intended anyway.

Re:Just curious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567716)

Have you stayed together this long because: A) You have a religious/social sense of obligation. B) You have kids, and separating would be too hard on them. C) You can't afford a divorce. D) You have an open relationship and regularly go on adventures without one another, but still like each other too. E) You actually still like each other, and would prefer to continue spending time together rather than every thing/one else you could be doing.

F) You've been together so long that you've developed an emotional (i.e. chemical) dependency, and being apart for too long results in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

It happens. I know it from first hand experience. I had a choice: Resent it, or make lemonade. So I gave 110% and my partner responded with 120% and the last 8 years have been mind blowing. A woman in her 50's can be an amazing thing, given some nurturing. A really good investment. I recommend putting in the effort - mostly, shutting up and really listening.

Re:My wife is happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567022)

I, for one, welcome our 37th-anniversary-celebrating, meteor-shower non-watching overlords.

Re:My wife is happy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567824)

Our 37th wedding anniversary is on the 11th. Apparently there is no meteor shower scheduled on that date. Guess I'd better not tell the wife, she couldn't care less anyway!

Re:My wife is happy (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38568836)

The 4th is our 37th wedding anniversary and the sky is celebrating.

As I understand meteor showers, she should be happy about a meteor shower on your anniversary every year, then.

Re:My wife is happy (1)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38569232)

Not as far as I recall.

Re:My wife is happy (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38569366)

I see a reference to a Jan 3 peak here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadrantids [wikipedia.org]

Basically, meteor showers come at the same time every year, since this one is so "sharp," (8 hours of sparkles) it probably is only worth watching at a particular longitude every 4 years or so (as the Earth rotates 365.25 times around the sun...), but, if you're willing to travel for it, this meteor shower should hit on or about Jan 4 every year, as the Earth passes through the constellation Boötes.

Re:My wife is happy (1)

AG the other (1169501) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571230)

Thanks man. Astronomy is not my thing so I don't know much about it. I'll try to remember to look for it on our anniversary every election year.

 

Viewing locations and times to view the Quadrantid (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38566486)

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567078)

Cool, thanks a lot man!

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567368)

Finally: according to that page the peak is on the morning of January 4th (7:30UTC)

Apparently the other articles think there's only 1 time zone in the world ("3am" is meaningless to me without specifying the time zone)

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (1)

rastos1 (601318) | more than 2 years ago | (#38569970)

I fully agree. It's a pity that the timezone is almost never mentioned in this kind of articles.

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#38571348)

Seriously???

You are up to date on the details that the moon orbits the Earth about once every month, while the Earth rotates once every day, right?

So given that and the statement "The waxing gibbous moon will set around 3 a.m. local time" can you work out what they mean by "local time".

The moon's daily trek across the sky is due to the rotation of the Earth, not the orbit of the moon. Hence the moon will set at 3am "local time" everywhere, excluding daylight saving time - but given it is the middle of winter and we are only talking about the northern parts of the northern hemisphere there won't be anyone on daylight saving time.

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 2 years ago | (#38568440)

Cheers for that! I don't suppose you know why they list both the UK and Scotland in the times/locations list do you?

Re:Viewing locations and times to view the Quadran (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38569434)

At least you aren't where I am: Canada - the second North America. Apparently I'm not even there as it is, since the Northwest Territories do not exist for them.

But I'm not planning on being outside in -30 Celsius with the 40km winds/60 km gusts we've had lately.

Plus it coincides with a lot of hangovers... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38566514)

Go Quadrantids!
Max. will presumably occur during daylight hours in Europe, where I am.

bjd

Re:Plus it coincides with a lot of hangovers... (5, Informative)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38566990)

Apparently it'll be about 7am GMT, so it'll still be dark for an hour or so up here.

If it's cloudy where you are, then try listening for some meteor scatter [wikipedia.org] propagation. Get an FM broadcast radio, and tune for a distant station, well out of range. If a meteor burns up in the right part of the sky, the trail of ionised gas will reflect radio waves for a few seconds and you'll hear a "ping" of signal.

If you have a proper FM tuner and a directional aerial, try aiming it more-or-less at the direction the meteors are coming from.

Re:Plus it coincides with a lot of hangovers... (1)

Mister Liberty (769145) | more than 2 years ago | (#38567054)

Thanks for the tips Gordo. Really appreciate them, though am aware of them.

Meteor watching more than anything else has the capacity to bring astronomy
and our place within the universe really home, to the uninitiated.
I'm in Holland btw.

Re:Plus it coincides with a lot of hangovers... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38570412)

Did... did you just tell people how to take a FM radio and basically make a Meteor Shower Sonar?

I HEREBY PROPOSE THE FOLLOWING:

1) That "Bill Nye" becomes a title much like Batman or Barney the Dinosaur which is passed on from person to person so that children and adults alike may understand that "Science Rules."

2) That Gordonjcp be nominated for said position, until he elects to resign or otherwise retire.

meteor scatter *radar* not sonar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38571838)

Radio detection and ranging, not *sound* detection and ranging.

Although in this case, it's more detection than ranging.

Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38567044)

Triffids beware. It is 2012 after all.

The duration won't be too long (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38568718)

You'll need two more hours of nothing to make one hour of 200/hr into 60/hr. Do they mean 20 meteors in a 6-minute spike?

OMG! It really is coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38570338)

It's Nibiru! The giant pink bunny told me so.

Lock up your brussel sprouts, the world is about to end.

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