The previous year was rich in astronomical events, and 2018 won’t be an exception. Already at the beginning of the year, we were able to witness the super wolf moon, and at the end of the month, we will witness a wonderful celestial event when three cycles will align, the supermoon, blue moon, and blood moon, which includes a total lunar eclipse. On New Year’s Eve, skywatchers from the UK witnessed a bright green light that shot across the sky which turned out to be a meteor. However, some people thought that the New Year’s Eve meteor was a UFO.
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot
The International Meteor Organization (IMO) confirmed that the bright green flash was a meteor which streaked across the night sky on New Year’s Eve. After the appearance, more than 400 people reported the sighting to the IMO, and some delivered footage from cameras and dashcams. Also many people posted about the New Year’s Eve meteor sighting on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The light was very bright and left a green trail behind across the sky, until it broke into two pieces and burnt up before it reached the ground. The New Year’s Eve meteor streaked by during the days of the Quadrantids, which is the currently active meteor shower, IMO said on its website. It is expected that this meteor shower will peak on Jan. 3 at its strongest, although it runs between Dec. 22 and Jan. 17.
Unfortunately for the astronomy enthusiasts, the Quadrantid meteor shower will be difficult to see, mainly because of the bright wolf supermoon, which is the first full moon of 2018, as it coincides with the meteor shower, washing out the brightest meteors. Nevertheless, this meteor shower is known for short, yet strong peaks.
The Quadrantid meteor shower was documented for the first time in Italy in 1825. After that, the event was named for the “Quadrans Muralis” constellation, now considered obsolete.
Only one week ago, skywatchers witnessed another strange event across the night sky in southern California. The bright light was surrounded by a cloudy halo and many had thought that the light was a UFO. However, the bright light turned out to be SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Santa Barbara, and was visible over the West Coast sunset. One family managed to record it, along with a three-car collision.
Make sure to look at the sky on Jan. 3 when the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower is expected. Hopefully, the bright moon won’t wash out all the meteors.