Quadrantids meteor shower to put on spectacular show

Get away from cities to see what's really overhead

EXPAND Get away from cities to see what's really overhead. Nora Logue Colorado Parks and Wildlife

You just have to be patient and look towards the sky. At that speed, they compress the air in their paths, causing the air to glow.

The American Meteor Society described the Quadrantid meteor as "fairly bright and easily seen", but noted that faint meteors could often occur, especially at times of high activity.

The beginning of another decade has come, and what better way to celebrate it than to watch a dazzling light show considered to be one of the best annual meteor showers. "During its peak, 60 to as many as 200 Quadrantid meteors can be seen per hour under ideal conditions", Nasa experts explain.

The reason that the meteor shower is called quadrantids is that the fireballs appear to be coming from an obsolete constellation called Quadrans Muralis, which was created by French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795. Those are the meteors, or shooting stars, that sky watchers can see. As per NASA, it is viewed as outstanding amongst other yearly meteor showers.

However, as short as the Quadrantids' peak period might be, those who will choose to stay up for it may be up for a spectacular light show because the quadrantids are known for "fireball" meteors that come in different colors and brightness. It will also help ensure you're looking at the Quadrantids rather than other smaller meteor showers that might randomly be happening at the same time.

Stargazers will be happy to know January holds several astronomical shows this year, including a major meteor shower, the Wolf Moon eclipse and a brighter Venus.

All you need to do now is find your spot, get bundled up against the cold and watch 2020's very first meteor shower.

If the night is clear, we bet you have a chance at seeing one.

If you miss this display, the next impressive meteor shower - the Lyrids - will peak on April 21 and 22.

The coloured "spikes" in the image above show the radar return signal when a meteoroid is detected passing by overhead.

A rendering of the Quadrantids meteor shower between the Capriconus and Boötes constellations. So, long ago, it was a normal comet - a "dirty snowball" in space, made of rock and ice, with a dark dusty coating.

Now, only the asteroid is left behind, continuing to orbit around the Sun along a trajectory more typical of comets.

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