A meteor shower lights up the sky over the Mexican volcano Popocatepetl near the village San Nicolas de los Ranchos in Mexican state of Puebla in the early hours of December 14, 2004. The shower, named Geminid because it appears to originate from the constellation Gemini, lit up the sky with dozens of shooting stars per hour.
The 2013 Quadrantid meteor shower will only last for a few hours at its peak time on January 3. In a released NASA statement, the major sky gazing time will still differ on location so viewers who wish to experience the spectacular meteor display really need to wake up in the early hours of the morning.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) further stated that spectators can look forward to seeing 60 to 200 meteors an hour in the dark sky but the light coming from the moon can cause view obstruction.
NASA shared that the material blazing in the Earth's atmosphere during the Quadrantid meteor shower probably came from the broken pieces of a comet centuries ago.
"After hundreds of years orbiting the sun, they will enter our atmosphere at 90,000 mph burning up 50 miles above Earth's surface," NASA declared.
The Quadrantids are known to have an exceptionally slim peak time. Despite the capability to generate bright fireballs in the dark sky, the short peak time display becomes a disadvantage since most viewers would desire to see more of the extraordinary phenomenon.
NASA confirmed that sky gazers located at latitudes north of 51 degrees south can witness the Quadrantid meteor shower. People who reside in the northern hemisphere have the advantage of a better Quadrantids meteor shower view since the Bootes constellation cannot be found over the horizon in the southern hemisphere. Therefore, the location is excellent for those who live in North America, the majority of Europe and Asia.
People who live in Australia and lower portions of South America may still catch a glimpse of the Quadrantids but they will certainly have a hard time examining the skies for the meteor shower display. Meteor watchers located in higher latitudes will have much better viewing conditions but should watch out for the typical clouds covering the night sky at this time of the year.
Fortunately, NASA and Ustream will provide a webcast for meteor viewers from January 2, Wednesday, until January 4, Friday, with a single view of the meteor shower. The camera is located in Huntsville, Alabama at the Marshall Space Flight Center.
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