Jan. 3-4: The Quadrantid meteor shower will peak

Active from Dec. 28, 2022, to Jan. 12, 2023. Peak night: Jan. 3 to 4

The year starts with the Quadrantid meteor shower, named after Quadrans Muralis, an archaic constellation that modern astronomers lump in with the constellation known as Boötes. It can be one of the strongest showers of the year, though poor winter weather and a short window for peak viewing often mean that it can fall short of its potential.

The Quadrantids’ maximum activity will happen close to a full moon this year — bad news for those interested in seeing many meteors. The best practice in such cases is to stand in a place where a tall object like a building or a tree is blocking the moon’s bright light.

While the shower can produce up to 120 visible meteors per hour, predicted rates are closer to 25 per hour in dark skies because of clouds. It will be best viewed in Europe, during a six-hour window after midnight in various time zones. People in Asia and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere have a chance of seeing fireballs as well.

Here’s what you need to know about watching meteor showers:

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