The Sideshow

New year, new meteor shower peaks this week

The Sideshow

The Quadrantid meteor shower, shot by astrophotographer Jeff Berkes.

The new year promises to kick off with quite a light show. The Quadrantids meteor shower peaks after midnight on Thursday, treating viewers to a shooting star display that should be visible under clear night skies.

For those who don’t want to brave the cold for the early morning shower on Jan. 3, the light show will stream live on NASA’s website.

"Those who brave the cold might see up to 40 meteors per hour, although moonlight will make faint meteors harder to spot," officials for the Hubble Space Telescope explained in a January skywatching video guide.

According to NASA, the Quadrantids come from the EH1 asteroid, which may have come from a piece of comet that broke up several hundred years ago.

The show starts as Earth passes through the debris field of the comet. The fragments will enter Earth’s atmosphere at a zippy 90,000 miles an hour and burn up to 50 miles above the surface of the planet.

Those stargazers who do catch a glimpse of the light show can add their photos to a Flickr group.

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