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How to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower tonight

How to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower tonight
[Photo: Austin Schmid/Unsplash]

We’re not even a week into 2019 and already a celestial show is in our midst. Tonight the Quadrantid shower will peak in the night and early morning skies, making it possible for millions of people around the world to see the light-filled attraction.

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NASA describes the Quadrantids as “one of the best annual meteor showers,” known for their “bright fireball meteors.” They happen once a year in early January and provide quite the spectacle for onlookers.

Those in the Northern Hemisphere have the best chance of seeing them, especially if they’re in a dark moonless area. The best hours are late night and early predawn–and tonight is when the show is going to reach its peak. Some estimates say that you may be able to see as many as 80 meteors per hour tonight (if the conditions are clear enough, of course). The shower will happen between the Big Dipper and Bootes constellations.

NASA provides stargazers with these instructions:

Lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

It’s probably going to be cold too, so you better bundle up. And if you live in a city, it’s best to leave and find a stargazing spot with little to no light pollution.

If you want to check your chances for seeing them, Time and Date has a helpful guide too.

Happy stargazing!

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