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2022 Quadrantid meteor shower: When does it peak and best time to watch

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The Quadrantid meteor shower runs from December 26 to January 16, but will peak in the first few days of the new year.

The best time to catch the astronomical event will be late at night on Monday, January 3 into early morning on Tuesday, January 4.

The Quadrantid is an above average shower with up to 50 meteors per hour at its peak.

Spotting a meteor shower in the night sky
Spotting a meteor shower in the night sky

It was first spotted by Italian astronomer Antonio Brucalassi in 1825 and is thought to originate from an extinct comet known as 2003 EH1, which was first observed 500 years ago by Japanese, Chinese and Korean astronomers.

NASA rates it among the best annual meteor showers and Quadrantids are especially known for their bright 'fireball' meteors that leave large explosions of light and colour that persist longer than average meteor streaks.

The Moon will be just past New, therefore its light will not interfere with the view, giving observers a better chance of spotting the shower.

You don't need any special equipment to spot a meteor shower, just a reclining chair, plenty of blankets and a hot drink or two – then lie back and wait for the light show to begin.

The Royal Astronomical Society advises that the easiest way to find the shower is to look north for the Big Dipper – the distinctive group of seven bright stars – then follow the 'arc' of the Big Dipper's handle across the sky.

However, meteor showers can appear from any direction, so make yourself comfortable and just gaze up at the sky.

If you capture a picture of a meteor shower please send it to geraldine.gardner@newburynews.co.uk

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