The first meteor shower of 2018 is heading our way and getting a glimpse is definitely something you're going to want to do. We literally just had a supermoon and now a meteor shower? The sky is starting off amazing this year, and to keep the momentum going you need to know how to see the Quadrantids Meteor Shower, because last year's event blessed Instagram with some amazing pics. Seriously, some of the shots were genuinely unbelievable.
I don't know about you, but the idea that all of these magical things in the sky are happening right as we enter 2018 is giving me so much hope for this year. 2018 and the sky events so far have literally been the light at the end of the tunnel of 2017, which we were so quick to hand over our ticket and get off of that train as fast as we could.
While this meteor usually happens every year, it's one of the first times, for me at least, that it is happening so close to the occurrence of a supermoon. Yes, I feel special. And if you've been super hyped like me, in regards to viewing whatever the sky has to offer, you're eager to find out what you need to do to get the best view in the house... OK, maybe just to see it in general.
When does the Quadrantids shower peak?
According to EarthSky, the exact time for the peak of the meteor shower is a little on the unpredictable side this year. Some of this may have to do with the fact that this shower is happening so close to the supermoon we just experienced not too long ago.
For now, EarthSky reveals that the best time to take a look up at the sky (when the shower is in its prime) will be around 4 p.m. EST today on Jan. 3. EarthSky also recommends gazing up at the happenings above during the predawn hours of Jan. 4. The radiant point is apparently seen at its highest during that dark hour before dawn, and it is favoring the Northern Hemisphere. Don't worry, this doesn't mean that the shower is only visible in the northern sky. It should appear in all parts of the sky.
So, someone either needs to be put on coffee duty or pull an awesome all-nighter with your friends. Although, it's also going to be incredible cold in parts of the East Coast, so I do not advise posting up outside for too long to view this.
How long does the Quadrantids shower last?
Now, as much as I would like to sympathize with those people who repel anything involving getting up early, this celestial event won't wait for you, sorry. According to EarthSky, while the Quadrantids are well-known for generating 50 to 100 meteors, they have an incredibly small peak time. I'm talking only a few hours, as opposed to other meteor showers that can be seen for a day or more in various time zones.
The Quadrantids are sort of testy, as you can tell, because there isn't much of a for sure prediction about how it will unfold exactly. Everything has to be in order for the Quadrantids to be incredibly visible. Last year's occurrence proved to be such a good one to view and the pictures were incredible. Maybe it's the slightly unpredictable nature of the Quadrantids that make its debut so fascinating to see, even if it's being seen at a fraction of its full potential.
Either way, 2018 has us looking up (literally), and I am so here for it. The year, aside from the "bomb cyclone," is not disappointing so far.