It is also known to be difficult to monitor due to the difficult January weather and the short peak – only about six hours. It is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere between 2 a.m. local time and dawn.
It usually shows between 50 and 100 meteors per hour, especially in rural areas. While a bright moon will reduce this number, you may be able to see more meteors if the sky is clear in your area.
If the name meteor shower sounds strange, it probably doesn’t appear to be related to a constellation, like other meteor showers. That’s because the constellation of the same name of Quadrantids no longer exists – at least, not a recognized constellation.
The constellation Quadrans Muralis, which was first observed in 1795 between Bootes and Draco, is no longer on the list of modern constellations of the International Astronomical Union because they are considered ancient.
A meteor shower radiates between the Big Dipper and Bootes.
The short shower peak is because only a small stream of particles interacts with our atmosphere, and the current occurs at a perpendicular angle. Every year, the Earth passes this debris path for a short period.
If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to a location not filled with city lights that will obstruct your vision. If you can find an area unaffected by light pollution, meteors can be seen every two minutes from late evening until dawn.
Find an open area with a wide view of the sky, and don’t forget to group it. Make sure you have a chair or blanket so you can look up straight. And give your eyes about 20 to 30 minutes to adjust to the dark – without looking at your phone – so meteors are easier to spot.
Eyes on the sky in 2021
In a normal year, 2021 will also be 12 full moons. (Last year there were 13 full moons, two of them in October.)
- Jan 28 – Wolf Moon
- February 27 – Snow Moon
- March 28 – Moon Worm
- April 26 – Pink Moon
- May 26 – Moonflower
- June 24 – Strawberry Moon
- July 23 – Pak Moon
- August 22 – sturgeon moon
- September 20 – Harvest Moon
- October 20 – Hunter’s Moon
- November 19 – Beaver Moon
- December 18 – Cold Moon
A total lunar eclipse will occur on May 26, and are best visible in western North America and Hawaii from 4:46 AM to 9:51 AM ET.
An annular solar eclipse will occur on June 10, and can be seen in North and Northeast North America from 4:12 AM to 9:11 AM ET. The moon will not block the sun completely, so be sure to wear eclipse glasses to safely witness the event.
November 19 will see a partial lunar eclipse and skywatchers will see in North America and Hawaii between 1am ET and 7:06 AM ET.
The year ends with a total solar eclipse on the fourth of December. It won’t be seen in North America, but those in the Falkland Islands, the southern tip of Africa, Antarctica, and southeast Australia will be able to spot it.