Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: The Quadrantids

Dec 29, 2020

Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis, from Urania's Mirror: Boötes, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, and Quadrans Muralis, 1825
Credit Library of Congress [public domain]

December's full moon, the "cold moon," arrives tonight, though in our area it may be obscured by clouds and snowfall. However, if the clouds hold back on Sunday morning between 4 and 6 a.m. there will be a good chance of seeing the Quadrantids, an annual January meteor shower, radiating from a point above the handle of the Big Dipper. If the waxing moon to the west is too bright, Astro Bob recommends standing on the eastern side of a building to give yourself a good opportunity to see them.

The Quandratids are named a former constellation known as Quadrans Muralis (omitted from the International Astronomical Union's official list in 1922), situated between Draco, The Big Dipper and Boötes.