January 16, 2021

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Catch the pinnacle of a meteor shower marked with fireballs tonight

Illustration of an article titled Capture the Peak of a Meteor Shower Featuring Fireballs with Colored Paths

Photo: Sergey Dziuba (Shutterstock)

With many New Year’s Eve celebrations and fireworks displays Either reduce it or cancel it altogether this week, lovers of glamor The events taking place in the night sky can be disappointing. But all is not lost. In fact, nature has its own lighting so we can enjoy it as we move in 2021. It comes in the form of the annual quadruple meteor showers, which culminate tonight. Here’s how to see it.

What are the quadrants?

Technically, the quadruple meteor showers began last year – December 28, 2020, to be exact – but they peaked tonight. What distinguishes these meteors? In addition to being the first of the year, it is also among the bestAnd the According to NASAThanks to coming quickly (at a rate of 60 to 200 meteors per H), and because they are bright fireballs they often come in colored tracks.

How to see quadruple at its peak

Like most astronomical events, the hunt for quaternary beings at their zenith requires some planning. While many meteor showers have a summit It lasts a day or two, and this is over in a few hours – so it’s important to get the timing right.

There is also a challenge Waning Convex Moon, which will become 84% full Tonight, making her hard to spot The meteorites are less prominent. (Although the fact that Quadrantide includes bright fireballs means some of them should be visible even with a bright moon.)

There is no set schedule for tonight’s peak, although experts estimate it will likely be Between two in the morning and dawn In the early morning of January 3rd. Quaternary will be more pronounced in the northern hemisphere, and specifically in the western United States. To learn more about Quadrantids – including what’s happening with them this year and how they will be affected by tonight’s weather –EarthSky has you covered.