It's been called the "blink and you'll miss them" Quadrantid meteor shower, the first meteor shower of 2013, with peak-time viewing Jan. 3 from 8 to 9 a.m. Eatsern, and 5 a.m. Pacific, according to a USA Today report.
"This makes the pre-dawn hours Thursday [Jan. 3] the best time to look for Quads in North America," according to Bill Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as quoted in the USA Today post.
Read further to learn from certain accounts that due to timing and weather patterns, the best spots for viewing are out west, in southern California, Arizona, New Mexico and southern sections of Nevada and Utah.
Better yet, according to the USA Today report, "the best viewing will be in Asia, so most of America will have to relive the event in photos."
What's the best way to catch the meteor shower in the Greater Brandon area? Appears that might very well be online, using the link below, and with posted photoraphs the morning after.
- Embedded on the NASA Web site is the link to a live Ustream feed of the Quadrantid shower. "Unfortunately, the skies tonight (Jan. 2-3) are predicted to be cloudy over the Marshall Center, so the Ustream view may simply show overcast skies," notes the Web site. The hope is for "some breaks in the clouds, and that everyone has clear skies in their locations tonight for some live meteor watching." (During the daylight hours, the Ustream view will show "either pre-recorded footage or a blank box.")
5 Things To Know About The First Meteor Shower Of 2013
- The Quadrantid meteor shower is litte-known and named after an extinct constellation.
- Unlke the more famous Perseid and Geminid meteor shower, the Quadrantids last only a few hours, "so it's the morning of Jan. 3 or nothing."
- The radiant's location, the northern tip of Bootes the Herdsman, means that observers at latitdues north of 51 degrees south will have a possible view of the Quadrantids.
- The Quadrantids have a maximum rate of about 80 per hour, varyig between 60 to 200, "so its peak is not as consistent as other showers."
- "You will need cloudless, dark skies away from city lights to see the shower" and "light from the gibbous moon will wash out fainter meteors."
For more things to know about the Quadrantid meteor shower, see Quadrantid Meteor Shower To Be Visible Thursday (USA Today).
We'd love to hear from you, your experiences viewing the Quadrantid meteor shower. Let us know in the comment box below.