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The Quadrantid Meteor Shower have the potential to be the strongest shower of the year but are usually marred by poor January weather and the short length of maximum activity of 6 hours.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is the first meteor shower each year. The shower comes each year in early January and favors the Northern Hemisphere as its radiant is far North in the constellation of Bootes. The peak occurs on the night of the 3rd of January, which will hopefully be Moon free.

The Quadrantid Meteor Shower is named named after the obsolete constellation Quadrans Muralis, now part of Bootes. Under dark skies, you can expect average hourly rates of 25, frequently showing as bright fireballs.

The radiant point of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower is inside the constellation Bootes. It lies between the end of the handle of the Big Dipper and the quadrilateral of stars marking the head of the constellation Draco. This meteor shower is best seen in the Northern hemisphere, but you can see Quadrantids down to -51° latitude.

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Radient

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Radient

Quadrantid Meteor Shower Radient

How to Watch the Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Meteor showers are really easy to view, and you don't need any special equipment. It helps to get out of cities away from artificial lights and light pollution. Take warm clothes, hot drinks and blanket or a comfortable chair with you. Viewing meteors, just like all astronomy, is a waiting game and you need to be comfortable, especially during the winter months. Finally, you need to let your eyes adapt to the dark - avoid looking at your mobile phone or any other light as they will hinder night vision.

Meteors will always travel away from the constellation for which the shower is named. This apparent point of origin is called the radiant. For example, if you look directly at Gemini you will see geminid meteors radiate out from the constellation. Lying down and observing overhead can be the best way to observe meteor showers.

The only thing you will need is a clear and comfortable dark spot. You won't have to use binoculars or a telescope to enjoy the night's sky.

The showers will appear in the sky like shooting stars so be sure to make a wish as they pass you by.

Photographing Meteor Showers

For photographing meteor showers, a digital camera mounted on a tripod is essential to steady the images. Meteors will move swiftly across the sky so a quick trigger finger also helps, but even random clicks during the height of 'prime-time' can also produce great results. Be sure to have the camera focused on infinity and, if your camera permits, leave the shutter open for several minutes for the most spectacular photographic effects.

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