Meteor shower peaks tonight - Tucson News Now

Meteor shower peaks tonight

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Source: NASA Source: NASA

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks tonight. 

The best time to catch sight of a shooting star is between midnight and 6 AM. 

Look to the northeast after midnight for the Big Dipper.  

Then look down below the handle and the meteors may appear to be originating from this area. 

NASA says at the peak there could be "80 per hour, varying between 60-200".

Although the peak of the Quadrantids is generally short-lived, the number of shooting stars taper off through mid-Janauary.  

"Like the Geminids, the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid, called 2003 EH1. Dynamical studies suggest that this body could very well be a piece of a comet which broke apart several centuries ago, and that the meteors you will see before dawn on Jan. 3 are the small debris from this fragmentation." according to NASA.

Meteor showers are generally named after constellations.

However, there is no modern constellation name similar to this meteor shower.  

NASA says that is because "The Quadrantids derive their name from the constellation of Quadrans Muralis (mural quadrant), which was created by the French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795. Located between the constellations of Bootes and Draco, Quadrans represents an early astronomical instrument used to observe and plot stars. Even though the constellation is no longer recognized by astronomers, it was around long enough to give the meteor shower -- first seen in 1825 -- its name."

For more meteor showers in 2014 click here.

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