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How to see the Quadrantid meteor shower in the UK tonight

It’s your first chance to see shooting stars this year

Written by
Faima Bakar

From Geminid meteor shower and the Draconids to a few decent Blood Moons, 2022 was a pretty good time for astronomy buffs. Fortunately, there’s lots of dazzling shit to see in 2023 too, and we’re starting off early as the first meteor shower of the year is set to peak this week. Here’s everything you need know about the Quarantids (and how to see them right here in the UK).

What is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The Quadrantids are one of the strongest and most consistent meteor showers, reaching a maximum rate of 110 meteors per hour on a clear night.

The phenomenon is caused by debris raining down on Earth from the asteroid 2003 EH1, and is especially visible in the northern hemisphere.

What time is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

You can expect to see the shower peak at 3am Wednesday January 4 (i.e. in the middle of the night tonight).

How can I watch the Quadrantid meteor shower in the UK?

You should be able to see the shower if you find a quiet, dark place that’s uninterrupted by light pollution. It’s a bit of a waiting game, so wrap up warm. You don’t need any equipment, and should be able to see it with the naked eye.

When was the last meteor shower in the UK and when is the next one?

The last big shower of 2022 was the Ursids, which peaked on December 21 to 22, stemming from a stream of debris from the 8P/Tuttle comet.

After the Quadrantids, the next one will be the Lyrids, lasting from April 16 to April 25 this year.

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