Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight

Quadrantid meteor shower peaks tonight (Image 1)

The first meteor shower of 2013 peaks tonight (January 2-3). The Quadrantid meteor shower results as the Earth passes through the remnants of the asteroid “2003 EH1” and should be visible between 11:00 p.m. and the pre-dawn hours, peaking around 3:00 a.m.

A mainly clear sky should help visibility, but the fact that the moon is about 76% full isn't ideal. Overnight temperatures will drop to the 20s in Middle Tennessee, so astronomy enthusiasts will want to bundle up.

This meteor shower occurs as debris from the asteroid enters Earth's atmosphere at 90,000 mph and burns up about 50 miles over our heads. The next good opportunity to spot shooting stars (i.e. meteors) is not until April 21-23 when the Lyrid meteor shower arrives.

If you don't want to brave the cold, or live in an area with lots of light pollution, NASA will provide a live stream online from the Marshall Space Flight Center down in Huntsville.

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