Quadrantids Meteor Shower This Week

Quandrantids - Image Credit NASA

Quadrantids – Image Credit NASA

Should be a good show but the brightness of the moon could hinder observations.  The beginning of the 2013 shower will begin overnight Jan. 1 into Jan. 2.

Quadrantids,  named for an extinct constellation,  is one of the lesser-known meteor showers of the year, but that doesn’t mean it does not put on a good show.

The shower begins overnight on the first day of the new year, NASA states the Quadrantid meteor shower peaks in the early morning hours of Jan. 4: “The Quadrantids have a maximum rate of about 100 per hour, varying between 60-200. The waxing gibbous moon will set around 3 a.m. local time, leaving about two hours of excellent meteor observing before dawn.”

Where to look

The best way to spot the meteor shower is to look north northeast and find the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) then look farther north. The constellation Draco (“Dragon”) has a “head” consisting 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 end of the Big Dipper’s handle and Draco’s head, you can spot the meteors near the constellation Boötes.

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