The universe is kicking off 2015 with an epic meteor shower, and you probably shouldn’t miss it. On Saturday, January 3rd (tonight, for many of us), the Quadrantid meteor shower reaches its peak. Where and when is this happening? According to Space.com, “As the night progresses, the radiant will rise higher in the northeastern sky, so that more meteors should be visible over a larger swath of sky, mostly in the test.” While the meteor shower should reach its peak by 9pm EST time, prime Quandrantid viewing time will be from midnight to 2 a.m. (wherever you are), so be sure to take a nap today or have some coffee on hand, because it’s going to be a long, awesome night. Another thing to watch out for is the almost-full moon —it’s going to shine brighter than diamonds!
Here are a few facts about Quandrantids before you get your binoculars and blankets ready for tonight:
- Quadrantids were named after a constellation called Quadrans Muralis, “the Wall Quadrants, which was incorporated into the constellation Boötes in 1922,” according to Space.com.
- Way before that, In 1795, Jerome Lalande, a French astronomer, created a constellation between Boötes and Draco which he called —you guessed it—Quadrans Muralis.
- Sadly though, Quadrans Muralis didn’t make it to the list of 88 constellations. However, we can honor it by watching its namesake meteor shower!