First Meteor Shower of 2016 to Light Up the Sky After Midnight January 4


The Quadrantid meteor shower is seen on Jan. 4, 2012. (Credit: Donovan Shortey / Flickr via Creative Commons)

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The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first meteor shower of 2016, will dazzle stargazers around the world during Monday’s early-morning hours.

It is expected to be brief but occasionally “intense,” according to Slooh, a website that aims to connect people to space events — including a live stream of Monday’s meteor shower.

The Quadrantid meteor shower was expected to “sizzle or fizzle” for American observers, according to NASA.

It was not clear if the shower would favor those in the United States or Europe, but if visible, it could be seen locally around midnight PST Monday.

The peak will likely last about two hours, with a rate of 120 meteors per hour predicted in areas with dark sky, NASA stated online.

Those not able to spend the beginning of the work week away from city lights didn’t have to miss out, according to Slooh.

A live broadcast of the event was scheduled to begin around 4 p.m. and include discussions from astronomers on topics such as where the Quadrantid meteor shower got its name, how it compares with other meteor showers coming in 2016 and why it’s so brief compared to other such events.

The live stream may also be a good option for people in Southern California, where the first of a series of storm systems was expected to drench the area beginning Sunday night.

The Quadrantid meteor shower won’t be the only event stargazers have to look forward to in January, according to NASA.

Between the 14th and 17th, Comet Catalina should be visible with binoculars, or preferably telescopes, in areas with dark sky, as it passes through two “stunning” galaxies.

Also during the winter, the constellation Orion reaches peak visibility and should be seen after sunset, even in the city — no telescope required.

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