South Dakota Nature December 28, 2019
Watch Up To 100 Meteors Per Hour In The First Meteor Shower Of 2020, Visible From South Dakota
Ready or not, the 2019 holiday season is coming to a close, and if you are anything like me, you may need something to look forward to that will get you out of the post-holiday funk. Sound familiar? While there is always New Year’s, champagne toasts, and rough hangovers to look forward to, we also cannot wait for South Dakota’s first meteor shower of 2020. Here’s why:
Taking place from December 27th through January 10th is the Quadrantids, an annual meteor shower that is slated to be the biggest and best of the year
What is Quadrantids, and what makes it so unique? The Quadrantids originates from asteroid 2003 EH1, a rock comet that shoots off fragments that resemble bright, colorful, and easy-to-spot fireballs.
Depending on weather conditions and the general night sky, stargazers can expect to see up to 120 meteors an hour during the Quadrantids' 14-day span.
Can't see yourself staying up all night long for 2 weeks straight? Then you may want to look at the sky late at night on January 3rd or early in the morning on July 4th, when the Quadrantids is expected to be at its peak.
If you plan to check out the meteor shower during its peak, be sure to have your camera ready, because if skies are clear and general weather conditions are mild, you can expect to see amazing colors at rapid speeds, but only for a relatively short amount of time.
The Quadrantids' peak typically lasts only 6 hours.
Tip: Before the 27th, get outside and located the Big Dipper constellation (pictured), as the Quadrantids is known to radiate just below the "handle."
While most of South Dakota should be able to witness this annual phenomenon, the best place to watch is where the skies are dark and lacking light pollution, such as Badlands National Park, the Black Hills, and various small and remote towns.
For more information on the Quadrantids and other upcoming meteor showers, please visit the American Meteor Society’s
website. Need more things to do to start the new year right? Check out The Absurdly Beautiful Winter Hike In South Dakota That Will Make You Feel At One With Nature. Address: South Dakota, USA