Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Look Skyward: The Quadrantids

Quadrantid Meteor Through the Trees (2011) © Jeff Berkes. Image Source: Flickr.

Tonight and tomorrow night mark the peak of the first meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids. They are visible from January 1 to 5. However, unlike other meteor showers that peak over a few days, the Quadrantids peak intensively in one 8 hour period; this year, the peak is on the night of January 3-4 and the best time to see them is after 4 a.m. when the waxing gibbous moon has set.  The source of the shower may be a minor planet or comet (astronomers are still debating): "The parent body of the Quadrantids was recently tentatively identified (in a paper by Peter Jenniskens) as the minor planet 2003 EH1, which in turn may be the same object as the comet C/1490 Y1 which was observed by Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomers 500 years ago."

Spacedex 2011 Quadrantids guide. Image Source: Spacedex.

In the Northern Hemisphere, look North and search for the Big Dipper and Little Dipper. The meteors will originate just below them. In the Southern Hemisphere, it will be difficult to see them. You can see a worldwide map on where precisely to look, according to your location, here.

The meteor shower is named for the defunct 18th century constellation that once lay in its radiantQuadrans Muralis.  Look for the constellation of Boötes as the source of the meteors: "[In the Northern Hemisphere, i]t lies between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco."

Boötes, the Plowman: the radiant constellation for the Quadrantids meteor storm. Image Source: Wiki.

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