First meteor shower of 2019 peaks Thursday night

Stargazers who love a good light show can see the first and best annual meteor showers peak on Thursday night, according to NASA.

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower peaks the night of Thursday, Jan. 3 into early morning on Friday, Jan. 4.

Photo courtesy: Pexels

Space.com predicts the peak of the shower at 10 p.m. EST or 7 p.m. PST (which is 9 p.m. CST, locally). However, the site says showers have peaked hours early or late in the past, so be on the lookout. Check Time and Date to see what your chances are to see the shower.

Unlike other meteor showers that have a two day peak, the Quadrantids only peak for a few hours. Under perfect conditions, you can see a range of 60 to as many as 200 Quadrantid meteors per hour, according to NASA.

NASA also says the origin is another aspect making this shower different:

“Unlike most meteor showers which originate from comets, the Quadrantids originate from an asteroid: asteroid 2003 EH1,” according to NASA.

The site says sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere can best see the Quadrantids.

Look for the shooting stars to radiate from near the Big Dipper.

Here are some viewing tips to view the Quadrantids, according to NASA:

  • Find an area away from city lights or street lights
  • Prepare for weather conditions with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair
  • Look up while lying flat on your back with your feet facing northeast
  • Allow your eyes to adapt to the dark to see meteors (should take less than 30 minutes)

Unfortunately for New Orleans stargazers, forecasted weather conditions might make the skies too cloudy to view the meteor shower, according to FOX 8 meteorologist Bruce Katz.

You may still have a chance for viewing during pre-dawn hours, depending on how cloudy or clear the sky appears.