What time is the Quadrantids meteor shower and how to watch it?


Well, we are in 2020 now, and year's first astronomical event is happening tonight, "The Quadrantids Meteor Shower".

If you had to pick one specific time to scan the sky, it should be about 3 a.m. Saturday, AccuWeather notes, because that's when the Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to climax, producing the most shooting stars.

In North America, the best time to look up is after the moon sets around midnight, which "leaves good viewing conditions for expected Quadrantids maximum on January 4", around 3:20 a.m. EST (08:20 UTC), says the IMO. At that time, the radiant of the shower - the point from which meteors will appear to originate - will be well up in the dark northeastern sky.

The meteors come from leftover comet particles and bits from broken asteroids.

The beginning of another decade has come, and what better way to celebrate it than to watch a dazzling light show considered to be one of the best annual meteor showers. Star-watchers can now see the Quadrantids near the handle of the Big Dipper, or within the "herdsman" constellation known as Boötes. But this year, there will not be any moon in the predawn hours of January 4, so the peak will be easier to watch. These meteors don't have elaborate trains, however, they sometimes create bright fireballs in the sky.

"People in dark areas far away from light pollution could see as many as 100 meteors per hour, while those closer to well-lit cities or highways may only count closer to 20 meteors per hour", says AccuWeather.

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Still, you'll need to have patience, with the Quadrantid meteor shower peaking between 4am and 7am on Sunday morning. The Quadrantids is thought to be the most intense meteor shower and will peak during those hours, and during that peak hour, it is expected to deliver about 40 meteors per hour. The December Geminids is the other, originating from "rock comet" asteroid 3200 Phaethon.

Everything you need to know about how to watch the next meteor shower.

Don't despair if you are caught under cloudy skies tonight!

But, if the skies should clear, there will be a great show.

Ms Patel added your best chance of seeing the meteor shower is to "head out after midnight".