January 19, 2019

First meteor shower of the year peaks Thursday night

06 January 2019, 03:12 | Ross Houston

The Quadrantids can be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year

The Quadrantids can be one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year

According to the American Meteor Society, the shower is expected to reach its peak in the USA between midnight and dawn Friday.

Astronomy lovers in the region, including in Singapore and Malaysia, may want to stay up on Thursday (Jan 3) night with the first - and possibly best - meteor shower of the year expected to peak in the early hours of Friday. This meteor shower will be all the more special, as it's known as a Quandrantids. Be patient-the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

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 the Northern Hemisphere have the best chance of seeing them, especially if they're in a dark moonless area.

For optimal viewing, it's recommended you drive away from the city and any bright lights - places like the grounds of the Lake Afton Public Observatory or a countryside spot are ideal.

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The eastern half of the continental United States is geographically the most favored for observing the short peak of this shower.

The Quadrantids appear to come from a constellation called "Quadrans Muralis", which was created in 1795 but is no longer recognised as a constellation.

Quadrantids are different compared to other meteor showers such as the Perseids or Geminids.

This year's show doesn't have great timing for North American observations. It will be visible throughout North America the night of january 20 and early morning of january 21.

Lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. reports the closest approach of the full moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse on January 21.

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