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meteor shower and eclipse for the new year January 3, 2011

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy, MichiganAstro.
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We get to start this new year off with a meteor shower and a partial solar eclipse!

The Quadrantid meteor shower is not one of the most spectacular. However, it is a good one, and the new moon makes it a better than normal year for observing.  This year is should peak in the early morning hours of January 4 with about 100 meteors per hour. That’s about the same rate as the Leonids back in November, but the quadrantids usually don’t have many fireballs. The radiant is nice and high as dawn approaches for observers in the northern hemisphere, so we get to catch most of the meteors.  If you can’t watch, you can listen: http://spaceweatherradio.com/.

Jan 4th is also a partial solar eclipse, the first of FOUR this year.  Observers in Europe and Asia will be able to see this one. There’s also a live webcast, for those of us in the States.  More info: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/OH/OH2011.html#SE2011Jan04P.

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