Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2012: When & Where to Watch
Quadrantid meteor showers will be the first to appear in the sky January 2012. This year, they will take place on the night January 3rd and proceed into the early morning hours of January 4th.
What is the Quadrantid Meteor Shower?
Quadrantid meteor showers are the most predictable annual meteor showers. The “Quads” are tiny particles about the size of grains of sand, coming into the atmosphere at to 90,000 miles an hour. They burn up about 50 miles above the earth.
Peak Time to Watch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower
The maximum activity for the Quadrantids is expected to be in around 2:30 a.m. EST. The moon will set around 3:00 a.m., and the sky will stay dark for meteor viewing until the first light of dawn appears at around 6 a.m.
Best Places to see the Quadrantid Meteor Shower
The best places to see the Quadrantid meteor shower are away from the glow of city lights. Universe Today explains that where the Quadrantids radiate from is in the constellation of Boötes, but you do not need to look for the constellation to the meteor shower. “Meteors will come from the radiant, but will appear anywhere in the whole sky at random.
You can trace the Quadrantid meteors (shooting stars) path back to the radiant to confirm if it is a meteor from the meteor shower.” Outside of North America, Quadrantid rates could reach around 15-30 per hour north of the equator, but observers south of the equator will have little chance of seeing the shower, since the meteors will have little chance to clear the horizon before dawn begins to rise.