First Major Meteor Shower In 2020 Peaks This Week

First Major Meteor Shower In 2020 Peaks This Week

The Quadrantids meteor shower occurs every year at some point between late December and early January, with the shower reaching its peak tonight on Friday January 3.

Skygazers are set for some celestial fireworks as the first meteor shower of 2020 looks to light up the night skies.

The quadrants are caused by the trail of debris left behind in 2003, EH1, an object that astronomers think is a rock comet - nearly an asteroid, not quite a comet.

The Quadrantids are not as highly regarded as other showers, such as the Geminids or Orionids, because they are more faint and easy to miss when conditions aren't just right, Space.com reports.

The meteor showers are unique in that they are named for a constellation, "Quadrans Muralis", that isn't officially recognized.

Unusually for a meteor shower, the Quadrantid comes from an asteroid, rather than an icy comet. But this year, there will not be any moon in the predawn hours of January 4, so the peak will be easier to watch.

Quadrantids are known for their bright "fireball" meteors. "In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors". As to what made the Quadrantids meteor shower what it is has yet to be determined. They often put on a great show, featuring up to 100 meteors per hour during the shower's peak, but a year ago in North America, the timing wasn't quite right.

We can also "listen" to the meteor shower, via the Meteor Echoes live stream, which presents the radar detections of meteoroid hitting the top of the atmosphere as high pitched audio chirps. They originate from an asteroid called 2003 EH1. You wait and you wait for meteors to appear.

Everything you need to know about how to watch the next meteor shower. It is best to head to an area such as the countryside, where it's less light pollution.

People in America and Europe will have a chance to witness decades first meteor shower in the pre-dawn hours on Saturday.

But, if the skies should clear, there will be a great show.

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