Image of the 2009 Quadrantid Meteor Shower.

Quadrantid Meteor Shower - January 2009

This composite image shows five meteor tracks from the morning of January 03, 2009; the peak of the annual Quadrantid meteor shower.  The region of the sky shown in the image includes Ursa Minor (middle) and Draco (head at lower right).  Alcor and Mizar (Ursa Major) just barely show at the top middle margin.

Visually the Quadrantids were a surprise to me.  At the shower's peak, I saw clumps of multiple meteors per second separated by several seconds.  The peak was sharp in nature as a few hours before the peak, I barely saw one meteor per several minutes; likewise towards sunrise the numbers of meteors seen dropped off dramatically.  Most of the Quadranids I saw yielded short dim trails as seen in the image.  However a number of bright, large trailed sporadic meteors (one captured in the image) provided variety to the show.

The orange glow near the copyright is one of the many clouds that floated through the area during the night.