Quadrantid Meteor Shower To Provide Brilliant, But Brief Show Tonight Over N.J.

For New Jerseyans willing to bear bitter cold temperatures and a very early rise, there is expected to be quite a show in the sky early this morning. According to NASA, the Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to peak tonight under mostly clear skies and should be visible after the moon sets from 3 to 5 a.m. But to catch the show, you’ve got to be on time.

“Peaking in the wee morning hours of Jan. 4, the Quadrantids have a maximum rate of about 100 per hour, varying between 60-200,” NASA wrote on its website. “The waxing gibbous moon will set around 3 a.m. local time, leaving about two hours of excellent meteor observing before dawn. It’s a good thing, too, because unlike the more famous Perseid and Geminid meteor showers, the Quadrantids only last a few hours — it’s the morning of Jan. 4, or nothing.”

Much like the more well-known Geminids, the Quandrantids originate from an asteroid, in this case called 2003 EH1. The meteors that will be visible are fragments of the asteroid, which NASA said could be pieces of a comet that broke apart several centuries ago.

The tiny fragments enter Earth’s atmosphere at a blistering 90,000 miles per hour and generally burn up about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface, illuminating as thin streaks in the sky as they do. Read more in Star Ledger.

For those unwilling to battle the cold, NASA has a cozier option. The federal agency is streaming live video of the event on UStream, which can be viewed below.


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  1. Sadly, unless u go to a field, far away from any streetlights, u won’t see a thing. On the otherhand, Neitz these days is after 7:00 goto the ocean to wqatch it. I just went a few weeks ago. Its absolutely undescribably breathtaking. DB,

  2. Jacob, ever hear of mazalos? Just another example of a close-minded oaf. Perhaps if you’d take your head out of the sand you’d appreciate the stars.

  3. This has nothing to do with mazalos either. They are fragments of an asteroid. You would would make the bracha Oseh Maaseh Bereishis if you haven’t seen one in the past 30 days. Every August 12-14 I would go out and see upwards of 100 shooting stars / meteors an hour and make a bracha on them. #2 and #3 are right – it’s Niflaos Haborei, and absolutely beautiful.

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