This week will see the peak of the Quadrantids meteor shower, which could be the most spectacular meteor shower of 2022. There will be up to 50 meters or more visible per hour when the shower is at its peak. So if you fancy a night of stargazing, we’ve got the details on how to watch.
The shower will peak between January 2 and January 4, and should be visible across the northern hemisphere. Meteor showers like the Quadrantids happen when Earth passes through clouds of debris in its orbit, and small particles of this debris enter Earth’s atmosphere. The particles for the shower this week will be traveling at tremendous speeds of around 25 miles per second and will burn up in the atmosphere. As they burn up they glow, creating a streak of light across the sky.
As for why this shower is called the Quadrantids, it is named after the now-obsolete name of constellation Quadrans Muralis where the first observations of the shower appeared to originate in 1825. The names of constellations were agreed by the International Astronomical Union in 1922 and did not include Quadrans Muralis, but the name of the meteor shower has persisted.
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SOURCE: Digital Trends, Georgina Torbet