How to watch Quadrantids: The first meteor shower of 2020

Quadrantids are annual meteor showers that peak every year around 3-4 January. These meteors originate from the asteroid 2003 EH₁ which takes about 5.5 years to orbit around the Sun.

If you’re lucky, you can spot close to 100 meteors per hour during the peak. However, unlike other major meteor showers like the Perseids and the Geminids that tend to stay at peak for more than one day, the peak of Quadrantids lasts for only a few hours.

Get ready for the first meteor shower of the year! (Image: NASA/JPL)

When to see?

According to the International Meteor Organization, Quadrantids are expected to peak during the early morning of 4th January at 8:20 am UT. This means that people living in North America will have the best view as the meteor shower peak lasts for few hours.

Quadrantids meteor shower are best seen in the northen hemisphere. Hence, people living in the north would enjoy a good view of the meteor shower from 3rd January (late night) to 4th January (early morning).

Where to see?

Image Credit: EarthSky Communications Inc. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Quadrantids originate from a point close to the Big Dipper. Big Dipper is an asterism (small group of stars) whose location in the sky can be traced using star tracking apps available for free on app stores.

How to see?

The meteors would be visible to the naked eye provided that you’re away from the city lights. They would appear yellow, white or even blue in color. The absence of moonlight would add beauty to the showers.

To have the best view, choose a location far away from the light pollution, give your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the dark, lie on your back and enjoy the beautiful meteors burning in the night sky. A great start to 2020!

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