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The decade’s first meteor shower is happening this weekend

Best hours to watch are 2 a.m. to dawn, experts say

The major meteor shower will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
The major meteor shower will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere. (Stojan Stojanovski/CNN iReport)

The new decade has arrived, and Mother Nature’s first gift to us all is an amazing meteor shower that will take place this weekend.

The Quadrantid meteor shower will be easiest to see during the predawn hours Saturday, but is expected to begin late Friday.

The shower has an extremely narrow peak time, at just a few hours, but it favors the Northern Hemisphere, so people in North America have a good shot of spotting it between 2 a.m. and dawn.

The visibility of meteor showers is always dependent upon the weather, but should you have a clear sky, you might want to keep an eye toward the Big Dipper, as they appear to radiate from this point, according to EarthSky.

The Quadrantid meteor shower, which is known to produce 50-100 meteors, was named for a constellation that exists no more: the Quadrans Muralis.

An astronomer by the name of Peter Jenniskens identified the parent body of the shower in 2003 as the asteroid 2003 EHI. However, it could be the same object that was observed by Chinese, Japanese and Korean astronomers 500 years ago.

EarthSky reported that if the asteroid is indeed the Quadrantid shower’s parent, the meteors come from a rocky body — not an icy comet.

Will you be watching the show this weekend?


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