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The Urban Astronomer

Resolution for 2009: See more meteor showers

3 Jan 2009, 20:08 UTC
Resolution for 2009: See more meteor showers
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I awoke this morning shortly after 5:00 and dressed warmly to see the first meteor shower of 2009, the Quadrantids. I had just been reading about this shower the night before and it sounded like it would have an impressive peak at 5:00 pacific time. The conditions looked good from inside my house, so I ventured to my backyard and looked high into the north-east. It took only a minute or two before I was rewarded for my efforts: a pinpoint of light streaked across the sky for an instant. I was energized and focused and saw a particularly bright one a minute later. In my brief 15 minute session, I saw about 8 meteors. By then the first light of dawn was beginning to color the eastern sky and I was ready to hop back into bed!Meteors are a delight from my point of view for a variety of reasons. They are high-speed astronomical events, those rare things you can encounter in the sky that are fast and require you to pay attention, like a total solar eclipse. Meteors are quick and yet they leave the impression of a long trail in your eye (sometimes the long streak is ...

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