The unique Quadrantid meteor shower is one of the best of the year, according to NASA.
Look to the skies to witness an out-of-this-world wonder! The Quadrantid meteor shower will peak Thursday night into Friday morning, giving you a show of about 80 sky-streaking meteors an hour on average. There is a chance that the show could yield up to 200 shooting stars to really bring the new year in with a show.
The Quadrantid shower will be best seen by those in the Northern Hemisphere (lucky, us!) at mid- to far-north latitudes. It will peak from about 10 p.m. EST/12 p.m. MST to dawn.
Meteor showers are named after the constellation they originate from, and this one is no different. However, there is a catch; the Quadran Muralis constellation no longer exists. It was first observed and recorded in 1795 but is not among the listed modern constellations. It is thought that Quadran Muralis was distributed between other constellations, according to Space.com.
This meteor shower is also unique because it comes from a "rock comet," like the Geminid shower, rather than the more common ice-comet origin. The comet, 2003 EH1 orbits the sun once every 5.52 years, but the Earth passes through its debris trail for a brief time every year.
The moon is currently in the waning crescent phase, giving us darker skies to view the meteors. You can best view the show away from urban lights and after giving your eyes about 20 minutes or so to adjust to the dark. To catch a falling star, turn your eyes to the Big Dipper.
"Quadrantid meteors appear to fan out from a spot on the sky midway between the Big Dipper's handle and the four stars marking the head of Draco, the dragon," says Space.com.
And let's not forget it's January, so please bundle up and stay warm out in those frigid temps!
Will you be watching for the meteors? Have you seen the Quadrantids before? Let us know in the comments below.