Quadrantid shower: How to watch 2019's first meteors tonight

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

With its "bright fireball meteors" appearing at up to 200 an hour, the Quadrantids meteor shower is considered one of the best ones of the year, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on its website.

The Quadrantids have been known to produce some 50-100 meteors in a dark sky. The International Meteor Organization predicts the peak of the shower to be at 2 a.m. coordinated universal time, which is around 7 p.m.in Kingman, according to a conversion chart at https://earthsky.org.

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.

EarthSky, at https://earthsky.org/, says meteors will come from the northern sky with the radiant point making a right angle with the Big Dipper and the star Arcturus.

To have the best chance of seeing them, get somewhere away from light pollution. The shower will be short-lived and last around six hours, according to Sky and Telescope. It will be visible throughout North America the night of january 20 and early morning of january 21. That said, the best viewing times will be between midnight and dawn.

2018 had some impressive celestial events; moments that light up the night sky and captured the imaginations of people all ages across the planet. The phenomenon, known as a transit, will not reoccur until November 13, 2032.To avoid eye damage, viewers will need solar filters like those used during the Great American Eclipse.

Experts recommend dedicating at least 45 minutes to viewing the meteor shower - as eyes can require up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness.

We're also approaching a new moon on 5 January, so there won't be much of a lunar glow either. Just a few days later, a partial solar eclipse will take place this weekend.

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