Last night was likely quite a display of fireworks if you were lucky enough to live where they are legal to use (sorry, desert states), but the universe isn’t done with the light show. Meteors are coming for all to see, thanks to NASA.
This week, Quadrantids meteor shower will peak, giving star watchers a little something extra that should be visible under clear night skies, says Yahoo News. It might also give Armageddon theorists the shivers, but hey, it’s been almost two weeks since the Mayan event, so they should be calming down.
If you’re not a fan of being out in the cold in early morning January 3, the Quadrantids will be streaming live on NASA’s website. Officials for the Hubble Space Telescope announced in a skywatching video guide:
“Those who brave the cold might see up to 40 meteors per hour, although moonlight will make faint meteors harder to spot.”
The waning gibbous moon will be out in all its glory during the shower’s peak, but skywatchers in the northern hemisphere with minimal light pollution during the wee hours of Thursday morning could still see the show, reports Space.com.
The Quadrantids come from the EH1 asteroid, says NASA. They may have come from a piece of comet that broke up several hundred years ago, the same source as the Geminid meteor shower. NASA officials add that it is:
“Located between the constellations Bootes and Draco, Quadrans represents an early astronomical instrument used to observe and plot stars.”
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama has a light-activated camera to record and live-stream the meteor shower during its peak.