Quadrantid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

Quadrantid meteor shower radiant

The first meteor shower of the New Year, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, will peak overnight on Friday, January 3, 2020, and into the early morning of Saturday, January 4, 2020.

Each year, the Quadrantids may favor the U.S. or Europe, depending on the timing of the meteor shower’s peak.

The Quadrantids are somewhat unpredictable but can have a maximum rate of about 80 meteors per hour, varying between 60 and 200 meteors per hour.

The moon will set before the meteor shower’s peak time which means that dark skies should make for a spectacular nighttime display.

Where to look for the Quadrantid meteor shower

The shower’s radiant, in the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis, is in a star-poor, but familiar, area in the northeast sky.

It makes a triangle with Ursa Major and Ursa Minor – the big and little dippers.

Where to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower

Given the location of the radiant at the northern tip of Bootes the Herdsman, only observers in Earth’s northern hemisphere will be able to see Quadrantids.

When to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower

U.S. Observers should begin looking at 08:00 Universal Time – which is midnight Pacific or 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.

European observers should look 8 hours earlier at 00 UT.

The peak should last about two hours, with rates of 120 meteors per hour predicted in areas with a dark sky.

The morning of January 4, 2020, in the United States

3 AM Eastern Standard Time

2 AM Central Standard Time

1 AM Mountain Standard Time

12 AM Pacific Standard Time