Washington Nature December 28, 2019
Watch Up To 100 Meteors Per Hour In The First Meteor Shower Of 2020, Visible From Washington
We’re all hoping 2020 will be a brighter year, and it looks like it will certainly start out that way. If you can stay up late (very late) on January 3 – 4 and you live in a rural area, you may be treated to quite a show. The Quadrantid meteor shower always occurs in early January, and it’s spectacular.
The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks every January.
And while it's normally active for around two weeks (from about December 27 till January 10), the peak viewing time is quite short.
The shower is best seen from the northern hemisphere because the radiant point for this shower is so far north on the sky’s dome.
2020's first meteor shower will definitely be visible from Washington, although you'll have to catch it in the right conditions. A lack of interference from clouds and city lights will help.
The expected peak night is January 3-4 (late evening January 3 till dawn January 4), with the predawn hours on January 4 being the best bet.
So if you're a night owl, you'll have a better shot of seeing it.
To find the meteor shower, just look for the Big Dipper and the star Arcturus.
The radiant point of the Quadrantid shower makes an approximate right angle with the Big Dipper. However, you don't actually have to find the meteor shower radiant to see the Quadrantid meteors -- you just have to be in or near the northern hemisphere, stay up until the wee hours of the morning, and hope for the best.
Wondering how these meteors got their names?
Most meteor showers are named after the constellations from which they appear to radiate... and in this case, that's a constellation that no longer exists. The name Quadrantids comes from the constellation Quadrans Muralis, which is now obsolete.
Kicking off 2020 with a sky full of shooting stars sounds pretty pleasant, doesn't it?
While there's no guarantee you'll be able to see anything from your part of Washington, it doesn't hurt to try.
Whether or not you’re able to see these particular meteors, we hope your year has a bright, shiny start.