If you love meteor showers, then 2019 is kicking off the star show with the Quadrantid meteor shower – and its peak is tonight!
The meteor shower will be most prominent late Thursday, Jan. 3, through early Friday, Jan. 4 – and will showcase about 50 to 100 meteorites in a moonless sky, according to EarthSky.org.
The new moon will appear on Jan. 6. and will make for clearer and brighter viewing over the weekend, but the height of the shower will have passed.
Where should you look to see the Quadrantids? Look toward the Big Dipper in mid-northern or far-northern latitudes.
Where do the Quadrantid meteors originate? EarthSky.org says the source is a “mysterious” one – like the Geminid meteors, it comes “from a rocky body, not an icy comet.” The source was discovered by an astronomer in 2003 [and] may have been the same object observed by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean astronomers 500 years ago, EarthSky.org says.
So what is the best time to watch? The International Meteor Organization says the brief peak will be between midnight Thursday and early Friday morning at dawn – but the absence of the moon means it will be very dark.
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