The Quadrantid meteor shower becomes first meteor shower of 2013
by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Science.

With a new year, comes new firsts and tomorrow you can experience the very first meteor shower of 2013!

The Quadrantid meteor shower will appear early Thursday, Jan. 3. However, if you hope to catch the starry event then you better be set an alarm, since the shower will only last a few hours, NASA reports.

Unfortunately, “a waning gibbous moon” will cut down on your viewing pleasure by washing out some of the meteors that race about the sky at about 80 per hour.

Named after an extinct constellation, the Quadrantids is similar to other meteor showers. As NASA explains, “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. After hundreds of years orbiting the sun, they will enter our atmosphere at 90,000 mph, burning up 50 miles above Earth’s surface — a fiery end to a long journey!”

This may be one of the lesser known meteor shows, especially in comparison to Perseid and Geminid, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it just as much!

Be sure to check back with NASA’s site for a live Ustream feed of the Quadrantids that will showcase images with a camera at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama.

Here’s a little preview of what you can expect.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

View all posts by Allyson Koerner →