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Skywatch: Watch for meteors this week

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks early this week.
Credit: Quadrantid Meteor Shower

If we get some clearing look for some meteors early this week. The Quadrantid meteor shower peaked early on Sunday. Believed to be caused by something known as asteroid 2003 EH1 the shower has produced as many as 50-100 meteors per hour in years past. Sadly the Moon will be bright so only the brightest meteors will be visible meaning you’ll be lucky to see up to 25 meteors an hour. The shower’s radiant is in the northern sky near the Big Dipper. Find a dark spot, far away from city lights, for the best show.

Credit: The Latest Sunrises

Enjoy the latest sunrises of the year this week. We think of a day as 24 hours but if you measure the day from one “solar noon” (when the Sun is highest in the sky) to the next you’ll find it’s seldom 24 hours. This discrepancy is why the latest sunrises are this time of year and not on the winter solstice. According to sunrise-sunset.org the latest sunset of the year occurred Sunday, January 3 at 7:53 and 31 seconds a.m.

Credit: Last Quarter Moon

The Moon will wane this week. On Wednesday morning at 4:37 a.m. The Last Quarter Moon will arrive. Enjoy the half-moon if you’re out & about.

Credit: Look for Three Planets

Three planets will be visible late in the week in the evening. Jupiter, Saturn & Mercury will be in the west after sunset. You’ll need a clear view of the horizon to see the trio. Look in the west, Jupiter will be the highest & brightest of the three. Happy hunting!