The Quadrantids: meteor shower as a tracer of the origins of the solar system

The Quadrantids meteor shower is the third most impressive meteor shower of the year, visible with the naked eye, reaching more than 60 meteors an hour.

2 h 30 stacking of 30 s pictures featuring ~ 25 meteors showing the radiant of the Quadrantids meteor shower (high-definition file). Credits K. Baillié

However, due to the usual cold weather at that time of year, and the small duration of the shower peak (less than 2 hours), it is harder to observe these meteors. Theses are most certainly the dust particles left by asteroid 2003 EH1 in its trail, which is of cometary type. We believe this is the core of a comet that ran out of gas. However, the age and origins of the Quadrantids are still debated and a genetic relation with comet 96P/Machholz is sometimes suspected. Observing meteor showers allows to constrain their orbit and therefore the origins and age of potential parent bodies. Thus, this observation campaign of the Quadrantids at Haute-Provence Observatory (OHP) is part of a multi-instrument survey of the main meteor showers including WAC, NAC, NIr cameras as well as LIDAR and spectro to analyse the meteor showers both dynamically and chemically.

For more information, visit the following page: /recherche/campagnes-observations/

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