Meteor shower peaks Friday night, visible across Alaska

The spectacle, considered by NASA to be "one of the best annual meteor showers", will be best seen in the Northern Hemisphere from January 3 - 4, according to the American Meteor Society.

Unlike most meteor showers, the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid and are known for their fireball meteors, according to NASA, which are brighter and longer-lasting than your average meteor.

"Meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so it is good to be in an open space where you can scan the night sky with your eyes".

It's expected at night between January 3 and January 4...

... But if you're willing to bundle up and venture outside at odd hours, there's an impressive meteor shower that's expected to peak this weekend.

For a brief peak period the Quadrantids are as intense as any other meteor shower. During its top, between 60 to 200 meteors can be seen every hour under immaculate conditions.

What is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The Quadrantid meteors will shine more brightly than other meteor showers later in the year because their makeup is comprised of larger materials which burn brighter when they enter the earth's atmosphere leaving a trail of fire. However, Quadrans Muralis was bumped off the list of modern constellations in 1922, long after the meteor shower was first observed in 1825, and the name was simply retained because Quadrans Muralis was a constellation for a long enough time to lend its name.

One complication for the Quadrantid meteor shower is its very sharp peak.

Revelers are encouraged to begin their gazing at least an hour before the predicted peak times, which are 3:20 EST, 2:20 CST, 1:20 MST, and 12:20 PST on the morning of January 4.

Astronomers believe the Quadrantids are remnants from the asteroid 2003 EH1, which was likely "either a piece of a comet or a comet itself", which then "became extinct", according to Cooke.

Quadrantids are also known for their bright fireball meteors, Nasa notes.

For a striking display of shooting stars, look up into the sky's inky blackness in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning.

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