A celestial event Seattle can actually see: Where to watch the Quadrantids on Capitol Hill

Unpleasant Morning Surprise,
originally uploaded by sea turtle.

As last month’s lunar eclipse illustrated, celestial events in Seattle are mostly tease with little please. Monday night, we’ll get a rare treat. A bon afide meteor shower that we should be able to see — even through the glare of city lights. The Quadrantids are coming. Here’s how you can check out the show.

From Spacedex.com:

This year, a New Moon is slated to entirely strip the night sky of any moonlight just eight hours after the predicted maximum, creating perfect circumstances for observers in the northern hemisphere. However, some viewers in the southern hemisphere will still be able to observe the Quadrantids.

The radiant of the Quadrantids, also known as the point from where the meteors appear to come from throughout its peak, is situated within the now extinct constellation named Quadrans Muralis. To find the location of the radiant, we recommend you find Polaris (a middling-bright star, also known as the north star) and observe near that area.

For the best viewing experience, find an area unobstructed by structures and that is far away from city lights. Using binoculars or telescores is not recommended – you’ll be more likely to miss a hooting star whizzing by. Once you have settled down at your observation spot, face toward the north or eastern portion of the sky.

The shower should be visible starting around 11 PM through the early morning and repeats again Tuesday night. It will very cold tonight — low 30s — but also very, very clear.

As for where to watch from, the best thing you could do would be drive north or east to find a dark, rural area. But you should also be able to enjoy the brightest streaks from some of the darker corners of the Hill. In the past, we’ve recommended Louisa Boren Park overlooking Lake Washington, Volunteer Park and the parking lot of MOHAI down in Montlake. Observe posted hours and don’t break any rules CHS wouldn’t.

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