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Solar System: Things to Know This Week

Solar System: Things to Know This Week

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaked this morning. Here are some fun facts:


1. Where Is

Quadrans Muralis?

The radiant of the Quadrantids lies in the demoted constellation Quadrans Muralis.


2. What Is a

Mural Quadrant? 

The Mural Quadrant is an angle measuring device mounted on or built into a wall.

Quadrans Muralis appears on some 19th-century star atlases between Hercules, Boötes and Draco, and different astronomers changed the stars from time to time.


3. New Constellations

In the early 1920’s, the International Astronomical Union divided up the sky into official constellations for consistency in star naming. 88 constellations remained, but over 30 historical constellations, including Quadrans Muralis, didn’t make the cut.


4. Where Is It Now?

Most of the Quadrans Muralis stars are now within the boundaries of the official constellation Boötes, but the name of the meteor shower did not change.


5. Where Do Meteor Showers Come From?

Meteor showers are usually the residue that collects in the orbits of comets. Unlike most meteor showers’ parent bodies, the Quadrantids are associated with an asteroid—2003 EH1.

Discover the full list of 10 things to know about our solar system this week HERE.

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