First Meteor Shower Of 2018 Peaks Jan. 3

The first grand meteor shower of the year is scheduled to peak this week. The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks on January 3, with most meteors visible between January 3 and 4. In the US, the peak is expected to arrive around 4 or 5 p.m. ET, before sunset on the East Coast.

Meteor showers peak on the days when Earth’s orbit crosses through the thickest part of the cosmic stream. According to the American Meteor Society, there are few meteors visible outside of peak times. The showers tend to be most visible after midnight and before dawn. This meteor shower is known for bright fireball meteors with long, glowing tails.

The best way to see a meteor shower is from a location that has a clear view of the entire night sky away from city lights and traffic. People at mid or high latitudes in the northern hemisphere will have a better shot of seeing meteors. Binoculars or telescopes tend to limit your field of view, so use your naked eye to watch the meteor shower.

Below are the showers that are most likely to be visible in the sky during 2018. The name attached to a meteor shower is usually tied to the constellation in the sky from which they seem to originate.

The Quadrantids
Active between Dec. 28 and Jan. 12 with its peak around Jan. 3.

The Lyrids
Active between April 14 and April 30 with its peak around April 22.

The Eta Aquariids
Active between April 19 and May 28 with its peak around May 6.

The Southern Delta Aquariids
Active between July 12 and Aug. 23 with its peak around July 30.

The Perseids
Active between July 17 and Aug. 24 with its peak around Aug. 12.

The Orionids
Active between Oct. 2 and Nov. 7 with its peak around Oct. 21.

The Leonids
Active between Nov. 6 and Nov. 30 with its peak around Nov. 17.

The Geminids
Active between Dec. 4 and Dec. 17 with its peak around Dec. 14.

The Ursids
Active between Dec. 17 and Dec. 26 with its peak around Dec. 22.

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