January 19, 2019

Meteor Showers in the Sky Tonight

06 January 2019, 03:09 | Edward Lowe

The Quadrantids can be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year

The Quadrantids can be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year

Start your 2019 with some galactic enjoyment because the first meteor shower of the year will be peaking Thursday night. Unlike other meteor showers, such as the Perseids or Geminids where the peak can last for a couple days, the Quadrantids peak is only for several hours, with the best time occurring between midnight and dawn. It's important to remember that we likely won't see 50-100 meteors each hour in the United States, but the potential is there to see up to 50 depending on when exactly the peak occurs.

Given the location of the radiant at the northern tip of Bootes the Herdsman, only observers in Earth's northern hemisphere will be able to see Quadrantids. The shower radiates between the Big Dipper and Boötes.

"The lower natural light pollution will make it easier to see more meteors, but light pollution from cities and highways can still interfere with viewing", AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada said.

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The Quadrantids may not be the most famous meteor shower, but it can be one of the most scenic and intense. However, the peak will only last a few hours.

There's a good chance the shower will be bright and clear enough to see with the naked eye, so no telescope needed. "In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors".

Even if you only catch the shower at an off-peak moment, the rates of about 25 meteors per hour are still expected.

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If you are living in Northeast Asia and the North Pacific, you will get the rare opportunity to witness a partial solar eclipse on January 6; an event where the moon will come between the Earth and sun, with it only partially obscured.

The Ursid shower takes place every year between 17 and 23 December. reports the closest approach of the full moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse on January 21.

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