Typical meteor showers peak for a period of about two days, but the first meteor shower of 2020 and of the 2020s will peak only for a few hours during the late evening of January 3 until the predawn hours of January 4 in North America.
The year's first Quadrantid meteor will light up the sky this weekend. Face toward the northeast between midnight and dawn on January 3 to January 4 for the best view.More news: Charlize Theron & New ‘Bachelor’ Peter Weber Are Flirting On Instagram!
For this particular meteor shower, as the meteors streak across the sky, they appear to radiate out from a particular point in the sky - the "radiant" - which happens to be near a defunct constellation known as Quadrans Muralis. They often put on a great show, featuring up to 100 meteors per hour during the shower's peak, but past year in North America, the timing wasn't quite right. "The Quadrantids peak, on the other hand, is much shorter-only a few hours".
"And here's some good news: There's no Moon in the predawn hours (2 a.m. till dawn) this year!" You could catch a spectacular show from the Quadrantid meteor shower! So if you want to see an impressive meteor shower, make sure you check out tomorrow night's Quadrantids since there are twice as many meteors than what Lyrids can offer.More news: OnePlus Concept One smartphone has 'invisible' rear cameras
Although this sky show is known as a good one because it produces some bright fireballs, experts say it is at its best for only several hours.
North American stargazers will see the peak at 03:20 EST, 02:20 CST, 01:20 MST, and 12:20 PST on the morning of January 4, 2020 - but we advise you start watching out for meteors an hour before these times just in case the peak is earlier.More news: Australia fires: Evacuation call stepped up as crisis worsens
The Quadrantids are said to be associated with asteroid 2003 EH1, which is thought to be an extinct comet. Give your eyes at least 15 to 20 minutes to adapt to the dark before starting a serious meteor count. When they don't show up right away, if you're cold and uncomfortable, you're not going to be looking for meteors for very long! That way, you can cover more sky. The December Geminids is the other, originating from "rock comet" asteroid 3200 Phaethon.