How To See 2018’s First Gorgeous Meteor Shower

Photo: Getty Images.
The Times Square ball drop may have gotten all the fanfare for ringing in 2018, but there's another, more natural sight set to light up the sky this week. The first major of meteor shower of the year, the Quadrantids, will reach their peak this Wednesday, January 3.
This means that this week is shaping up to be one most of the astronomically significant weeks of 2018, thanks to the supermoon on January 1 and 2. However, there is a catch. According to EarthSky, the close timing of the two events means that it will be harder for you to get a good look at the Quadrantid meteor shower, since the sky won't be as dark. (The Weather Channel says this could prevent you from seeing many of the meteors.)
Under darker conditions, you could see as many as 100 meteors streaming through the sky at a time, but that will be unlikely this year. However, if you're not too tired from New Year's festivities, it's still worth heading outside before dawn on the mornings of January 3 and 4 for a look.
The Quadrantids are slightly different from other meteor showers. Although it too was named for the constellation where it appeared to originate, the constellation, Quadrans Muralis — which was not included in an official list of modern constellations that the International Astronomical Union assembled in 1922, EarthSky says. Still, the name, which has been around since 1795, stuck anyways and remains to this day.
If you are looking for the point of origin, known as the radiant point, your best bet is to look towards the Big Dipper.
The next major meteor shower, the Lyrics, doesn't come until April, but there is plenty to look up at before then, including a second full moon, also known as a blue moon, later this month.

More from Tech


R29 Original Series