Meteor Shower Visible Early Friday Morning
SAN ANGELO, TX -- If you need an excuse to stay up another night past midnight then tonight you have one. There will be a meteor shower starting Friday morning at 12:00 a.m. and will continue throughout the sun rise.
According to NASA the first meteor shower of the new year is called the Quandrantid Meteor Shower and it can produce up to 100 fiery meteors an hour.
This year, the the almost-new waning crescent moon will ensure dark skies in West Texas. Also there will be clear skies that will give you the perfect opportunity to see the show in all its glory.
The radiant point is in the part of the sky that used to be considered the constellation Quadrans Muralis, the Mural Quadrant. You’ll find this radiant near the famous Big Dipper in the north-northeastern sky after midnight and highest up before dawn.
Unlike most meteor showers which originate from comets, the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid: asteroid 2003 EH1. Asteroid 2003 EH1 takes 5.52 years to orbit the sun once. It is possible that 2003 EH is a “dead comet” or a new kind of object being discussed by astronomers sometimes called a “rock comet.”
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. In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.