Quadrantid meteor shower. (NASA illustration)

Quadrantid meteor shower. (NASA illustration)

Quadrantid meteor shower to light up night skies after midnight tonight

Meteors are best seen in an area with dark skies, facing northeast

If the skies are clear in your area late into the night on Sunday (Jan. 2), you may just be able to spot the Quadrantid meteor shower.

According to NASA, the meteor shower will peak in the late hours of Sunday and the early hours of Monday morning.

“This tends to be one of the better meteor showers of the year, and often produces a number of bright meteors called fireballs,” NASA stated in its monthly highlights for January. “This year the peak coincides with the new moon, making for great viewing conditions, provided the skies are clear. You should be able to see a few meteors on the couple of nights before and after as well.”

For best Quadrantid meteor watching, NASA recommends finding a dark location away from bright city lights. Then, face northeast and look up. The Quadrantid meteors appear to radiate from the Boötes constellation, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

“The source of the Quadrantids is thought to be the asteroid 2003 EH1, which might actually be an extinct comet. So start off your new year by catching a few shooting stars after midnight on January 3rd,” NASA stated.

To find Arcturus, first find the Big Dipper and follow the arc made by its handle until you see a bright star. That star is Arcturus, located in the waist area of Boötes.

The best viewing time is expected to be after midnight, after Boötes rises above the horizon, NASA stated.


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