Quadrantids Meteor Shower – Most meteor showers that occurred in 2011 could not be seen due to bright moonlight, but that won’t be the case for the Quadrantids meteor shower, the first of 2012 coming to a sky near you.
It will reach its peak viewing time on Wednesday, January 4th, with no moonlight to hide it all you will need is clear skies. At the peak about 100 meteors an hour should be visible midnight and just before sunrise. The phenomena is caused by broken debris from an asteroid named 2003 EH1 and has been visible since 1825.
The Quadrantids are a smaller meteor shower compared to others usually only lasting a few hours.
Bigger showers can last unto several days and produce up to 1000 meteors an hour.
The meteor shower is visible due to the earth passing through the debris field left behind by the comet when it flew by the planet long ago.
The dust and particle field then burns up as it comes into earth’s atmosphere at 90,000 miles an hour, giving the effect of shooting stars.
The next chance this year to see a meteor shower will be around the April 21st with Lyrids meteor shower but a new moon is set to be in the night sky at the same time.