By Dave Fuller on 1/1/2014 10:03 AM
One of the best meteor showers of the year peaks when the Moon is out of the way. But when and where to look? Meteor showers are named after constellations, because their radiant - that is to say, the place in the sky from which they appear to come from - is generally a specific constellation. We have the Perseids radiating from Perseus, the Lyrids coming from Lyra and the Quadrantids coming from... ummmm - Quadr... what now? 

Constellation names Ah yes, that leads to another point: Sometimes constellations got named in the past, but also discarded often because they either fell into disuse or, more recently, were thrown out by the International Astronomical Union. However, the Quadrantids kept the name of the the defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis. This was named after a tool that astronomers of yore used to measure angles in the sky. It is located just off the end of the handle of the "Big Dipper" or "Plough" asterism in Ursa Major, and between Draco and Bootes. Composed of largely dim stars, it's...

The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.