Quadrantid meteor showers will be the first to appear in the sky January 2013. This year, they will take place on the night January 2nd and proceed into the early morning hours of January 3rd.
What is the Quadrantid Meteor Shower?
Quadrantid meteor showers are the most predictable annual meteor showers. The “Quads” are tiny particles about the size of grains of sand, coming into the atmosphere at to 90,000 miles an hour. They burn up about 50 miles above the earth.
Peak Time to Watch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower
The maximum activity for the Quadrantids is expected to be in around 2:30 a.m. EST. The moon will set around 3:00 a.m., and the sky will stay dark for meteor viewing until the first light of dawn appears at around 6 a.m.
Best Places to see the Quadrantid Meteor Shower
The best places to see the Quadrantid meteor shower are away from the glow of city lights. Universe Today explains that where the Quadrantids radiate from is in the constellation of Boötes, but you do not need to look for the constellation to the meteor shower. “Meteors will come from the radiant, but will appear anywhere in the whole sky at random.
The best way to spot the meteor shower is to look north and find the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) then look farther north (which would be “up” if the Big Dipper were holding liquid). The constellation Draco (“Dragon”) has a “head” of four bright stars that look a little bit like the four stars that make up the cup end of the Big Dipper. Between the Big Dipper’s handle and Draco’s head, you should spot the meteors.
You can trace the Quadrantid meteors (shooting stars) path back to the radiant to confirm if it is a meteor from the meteor shower.” Outside of North America, Quadrantid rates could reach around 15-30 per hour north of the equator, but observers south of the equator will have little chance of seeing the shower, since the meteors will have little chance to clear the horizon before dawn begins to rise.
If there is cloud cover where you are on that night, you can watch a Ustream feed of the meteor shower on Jan. 2-4 on NASA.com.
Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to receive (spam free) email notification of top news articles.
Emily Sutherlin is also the Pregnancy Examiner and Women’s Issues Examiner.
Got something to say? Say it on Examiner by following this link to sign up.