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Quadrantid Meteor Showers Coming Up for Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

Published 12/23/21 at 12:52 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Quadrantid Meteor Showers Coming Up for Oregon Coast, Washington Coast

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(Astoria, Oregon) – Looking for more fireballs in the sky when you're at the Oregon coast or Washington coast? And no, we're not talking about the nasty whiskey.

The Quandrantid meteor showers will peak just after New Year's Day, on January 2 and 3, but unfortunately they'll be hitting their peak hours a little after 8 a.m. Pacific Time, on the Washington coast and Oregon coast. Still, if conditions are clear, you should be able to see more than a few sparkly streaks going across the sky.

The Quandrantids actually begin December 26 and run through January 16, but peak hours can produce as many as 80 of them in that time. This could mean quite a few in the very late night hours of the 2nd and 3rd leading up to the actual peak.

Stargazers in the Pacific Northwest and its beaches will be lucky this year, however, as the Quadrantids coincide with a new moon, which brings completely dark skies.

Jim Todd, planetarium manager with Portland's OMSI, said the Quadrantids were named for the former constellation Quadrans Muralis (Murals Quadrant), which once occupied the area of northern Bootes.

“It is thought that this shower is related to the recently discovered asteroid 2003 EH1,” Todd said. “This object is most likely an extinct comet nucleus that appears to be the remnant of a larger object that broke up about 500 years ago.”

Todd suggests to dress warmly and get as wide a view of the sky as possible.

“You may not see any meteors for some time, but be patient as they often move very fast and are gone before you can turn your eyes on them,” Todd said.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather

Along the shorelines of the Oregon and Washington coast, there are plenty of dark spots without light interference. Grayland State Park, the vast majority of beaches on the Olympic Peninsula, Warrenton, the 804 Trail at Yachats, almost any beach on the southern Oregon coast, and parts of Lincoln City or Newport are rife with dark areas. High vantage points often create even better views of this, such as at Bandon, Humbug Mountain, Cape Foulweather, or the pullouts above Manzanita.

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