‘One of the best’ meteor showers of the year peaks Tuesday night

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Central Texans looking to see “one of the best” meteor showers are going to be in luck this week. The Quadrantids meteor shower will peak around 9 pm Tuesday night. The shower will last through early Wednesday morning.

The Quadrantids are, according to NASA, considered one of the most consistent and “best” meteor showers of the year. During the peak, NASA said you can expect to see 60 to 200 meteors per hour.

Unlike last week’s rare planetary alignment, the weather will be favorable for star viewing in our area.

How do I view the Quadrantids?

NASA has some tips for viewing the shower. First, head out to an area with minimal light pollution. This should be fairly easy in our area. Many towns in Central Texas are “Dark Skies” communities where excessive light is banned at night.

It is recommended that you lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast. NASA said that you should lay in the dark for 30 minutes prior to the show to give your eyes time to adjust.

The shower is expected to last until pre-dawn on Wednesday morning.

What makes the Quadrantids so special?

The Quadrantids are a result of an asteroid named 2003 EH1. The small asteroid orbits our sun every 5.52 years. NASA said it might be a “dead comet.”

The object was discovered in 2003. Astronomer Peter Jenniskens discovered it was the source of the Quadrantids meteor shower.

The meteor shower appears to originate in the “Quadrans Muralis” constellation. It was created in 1795 by astronomer Jerome Lalande. The shower was first seen in 1825.

The constellation can be found near the end of the handle of the “Big Dipper.”

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