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The First Meteor Shower of 2021 Is Happening on New Year’s Weekend

News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Dec 31, 2020

2021 isn’t wasting any time when it comes to dazzling celestial events. The first meteor shower of the year will take place from January 2 to January 3.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is considered one of the impressive showers of the year, typically occurring between December 28 and January 12. During the shower, meteors appear to radiate from a constellation called “Quadrans Muralis,” which actually no longer exists.

According to NASA, “An alternative name for the Quadrantids is the Bootids since the meteors appear to radiate from the modern constellation of Bootes. Even though the constellation may no longer be recognized, it was considered a constellation long enough to give the meteor shower its name.”

From Saturday night to Sunday morning this weekend, there’s a possibility of spotting between 60 and 200 meteors per hour traveling 25 miles per second. This shower, which lasts for approximately six hours, is known for its bright fireball meteors, which are larger explosions of light that last longer than typical meteors. The best chance to view the shower’s peak in the US will be on Sunday morning (around 9:30 AM ET or 6:30 AM PT).

The Quadrantid shower has the potential to be the brightest meteor shower of the year.

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