Up to 110 meteors per hour could be visible over the UK on Tuesday night as the Quadrantid meteor shower begins.
It is the strongest and most consistent meteor Showers, appear in our night skies every year.
Here’s everything you need to know to maximize your chances of seeing it.
Where is the best place to watch it?
The most important thing is to keep yourself away from street lights and other sources of light pollution.
Unfortunately, the next full moon is on Friday, which means the sky itself will also be producing a bit of light pollution.
The Royal Observatory Greenwich advises people to head to open spaces where they can scan the sky as meteors can be seen from all corners of the sky.
To really boost your chances, consider parking in one of the UK’s dark sky reserves – Snowdonia, Brecon Beacons and Exmoor National Parks – or Europe’s largest dark sky park – —Northumberland National Park and the adjoining Kielder Water Forest Park.
When is the best time to watch it?
The Quadrantid meteor shower runs from December 28, 2022, to January 12, 2023, but will peak on January 3-4.
The official peak period is January 4th at 3am.
Will it be great weather for stargazing?
Unfortunately, the weather isn’t the best for observing the night sky.
forecast rain For much of the country though things look clearer the further north you go – the north west of Scotland looks mostly good.
What does the Quadrantid meteor shower look like?
If you’re lucky enough to see clear skies and not much light from the moon, expect to see blue meteors with fine trains.
How do I prepare to watch it?
It will take about 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. You should also be prepared to spend some time outside, so keep warm.
The Quadrantids can be seen with the naked eye, so no binoculars or telescope are needed.
What are meteors and why do we see them?
According to NASA, meteors are space rocks, also known as meteoroids, that enter the Earth’s atmosphere.
Meteors are produced when comets come close to the sun and break up due to heat.
They are sometimes seen as Earth orbits the sun and passes through the debris left by the comet’s disintegration.
As the space rock falls toward Earth, the drag of the air makes it very hot, giving it the appearance of a “shooting star.”
The bright streaks are not the rocks themselves, but glowing hot air.
Typically, meteoroids are very small, sometimes smaller than a boulder, and burn up in the atmosphere.