World’s premier space agency NASA has said that stargazers will get a golden chance to witness light show in the new year as “one of the best annual meteor showers” is set to peak on January 2-3, 2021.
According to NASA, the Quadrantids peak during the first week of January but they remain active for around 6 hours as compared to other meteor showers with an average of two days.
During its peak, around 200 Quadrantid meteors can be seen per hour if the sky is clear.
“Quadrantids are also known for their bright fireball meteors. Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can persist longer than an average meteor streak. This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of material,” NASA says.
What are the Quadrantids?
Quadrantids are either comet particles or broken asteroids. When meteoroids enter the atmosphere of Earth at high speed, they burn up and are meteors or “shooting stars.”
NASA said that the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid known as 2003 EH1. This meteor shower was first seen in 1825.
“An alternative name for the Quadrantids is the Bootids since the meteors appear to radiate from the modern constellation of Bootes,” NASA explained. “Even though the constellation may no longer be recognized, it was considered a constellation long enough to give the meteor shower its name.”
How to view 2021 Quadrantid meteor shower
According to NASA, Quadrantid meteor shower will be best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the night and pre-dawn hours of January 2 into January 3.
“To view the Quadrantids, find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared for winter weather with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing northeast and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible,” the NASA said.
“In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse,” NASA added.