Poor timing to diminish intensity of Quadrantid meteor shower in U.S.

Poor timing to diminish intensity of Quadrantid meteor shower in U.S.

According to www.accuweather.com, the Quadrantids meteor shower will take place during the new moon, which means a darker sky and in turn a better viewing experience.

The new year began with the most distant flyby of a planetary object, and it continues with the Quadrantid meteor shower tonight, one of the best annual shows in the night sky, according to NASA.

The meteors are also larger than those in other showers throughout the year, and often give a colourful "fireball" look as they pass overhead.

If you missed the full moon-meteor shower combo over Christmas, don't fret.

However, despite the relatively lengthy period in which they occur, catching the peak-where up to 100 meteors shoot across the sky-can be tricky as it only lasts around six hours. Those in Europe could wind up seeing the most meteors, which can range from 60 to over 100 during ideal conditions.

The meteor shower is called the Ursids, because the meteors seem to radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor. If you venture out away from city lights Thursday evening and night and look for the Big Dipper, your chances of seeing a healthy amount of shooting stars are pretty good.

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Compared to other meteor showers such as Geminids or Orionids, the Quadrantids can be harder to observe due to their small peak time. However, as Earthsky reports, with the Quadrantids it's different, as the peak can last only a couple of hours. It is not now included on the International Astronomical Union's list of constellations.

Finding a location that has a clear view of the entire night sky is key. You'll want to face northeast.

For people in North America, that won't be the case this year.

Smashing at the Earth's atmosphere at 150,000 miles per hour, expect to see 20-40 meteors per hour.

What's coming in 2019Super blood moon: The most-viewed cosmic event of 2019 will occur January 20-21 as the moon turns red during the year's only total lunar eclipse.

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