Quadrantid Meteor Shower 2022: Tonight’s Peak Time to Watch

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Yuri SmityukTASS via Getty Images)

For Outsiders looking to see some of 2022’s earliest astronomical sights, tonight debuts one of this year’s most spectacular meteor showers. And fortunately for you, we have the shower’s peak time to watch.

As Georgina Torbet writes on digitaltrends, the Quadrantid Meteor Shower promises to bless us with up to 50 visible meteors or more per hour at its peak. So for those of you that missed the equally impressive Geminid Meteor Shower earlier last month, now’s your chance. Be sure to bundle up, head outside, and keep your eyes on the stars.

According to the outlet, the peak of the shower falls between Sunday, January 2nd and Tuesday the 4th. Most stargazers should have decent vantage points spread across the majority of the northern hemisphere. NASA states the absolute best time for Outsiders across the U.S. to watch is between the night of the 2nd and the morning of the 3rd. From there on, the number of visible meteors will significantly drop.

Further, meteor showers as spectacular as this one occur when our planet passes through clouds of debris in orbit. From there, those pieces enter our atmosphere. The burning debris provides us with the shooting stars we look forward to seeing each meteor shower.

Additionally, we can be sure the meteor shower itself will be a natural beauty. However, the outlet states the speed at which the meteors are traveling is remarkable as well. This week’s shower in particular will see shooting stars traveling at around 25 miles per second, quickly burning up in our atmosphere.

How to Best Watch the Meteor Shower:

Fortunately, when it comes to meteor showers like these, Outsiders have no need for telescopes, binoculars, or any additional equipment. Just your patience and perhaps a blanket or two.

The U.K.’s Royal Astronomical Society even states, “A meteor shower is best observed with the naked eye, and a reclining chair, a warm blanket, and a hot drink make viewing much more comfortable on a cold January night.”

Additionally, some meteor showers are dimmed by an overabundance of moonlight. However, tonight’s shower should see no interference from our lunar companion. According to the outlet, Earth’s single natural satellite has just passed the New Moon phase. With that, it should not interfere with our view of the meteor shower.

Nevertheless, Outsiders should still consider finding a viewing spot with little light pollution. For some stargazers, this might require heading away from home and outside your city or town.

So, no matter where you’re located across the U.S., as long as your local area provides you with a relatively clear night and little light pollution, you should be in the clear. However, if you don’t get to see the approaching shower tonight, know there’s still a chance on Monday to catch its tail end.