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The Massive Quadrantid Meteor Shower is Coming — Here’s What to Know

There will be approximately 25 meteors per hour during the six hour sky event.

There will be an impressive meteor shower to help jump off the new year, and this one is quite impressive. It’s coming really soon, and if you don’t want to miss it, here’s everything you need to know about the Quadrantid meteor shower.

What is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

Quadrantid meteor showers happen each year, and while it might not be as well-known as other meteor showers, it’s still something to mark on the calendar and catch – if you can. These meteor showers aren’t as noticeable in the sky as something like the Orionids; however, they can produce fireballs with glowing trails that shoot across the sky.

The Quadrantid meteor shower happens when debris from an object – like an asteroid or a dead comet – gets close to the Earth. The debris produces bright fireballs that we can watch pass across the sky.

When can I watch the 2022 Quadrantid meteor shower?

Unlike other meteor showers, the Quadrantid meteor showers don’t last a long time. “A lot of meteor showers last days — the Quadrantids last a few hours,” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com. And with such a short window of time to catch the fireballs in the sky, narrowing down the exact time they’ll be visible is more of an educated guess, EarthSky explains.

“You may spot a Quadrantid any time between December 26 to January 16,” EarthSky shares. “While the American Meteor Society predicts the peak of activity overnight from January 2 to 3, the International Meteor Organization thinks the peak of activity in 2022 will be on January 3 at 20:40 UTC, or January 3, 2:40 pm CST.”

The publication warns that these Quadrantid meteor showers are “notorious for defying the best-laid forecasts.”

How do I watch the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The good news about the 2022 Quadrantid shower is that it’s best visible in a super dark sky, and the moon’s not going to be visible that night, making viewing perfect. The ideal viewing is in a clear sky with no clouds, no bright lights anywhere, and being on the Northern Hemisphere makes viewing easier, too.

On average, there will be approximately 25 meteors per hour during the six hours the shower will peak. Many of those will be visible, but some may not – it all depends on how dark the sky is where you’re at.

To find ideal times and to view directions for where you live so you can catch the Quadrantid meteor shower, check out TimeandDate.com.