The Quadrantids will dart across the sky over Colorado under nearly perfect conditions late Thursday and into early Friday to deliver the first meteor shower of 2019.
The peak of the shower will last for several hours between midnight and dawn on Friday, when 60 to 100 meteors are expected to be seen per hour. Stargazers will greatly benefit from the dark sky of the new moon phase, AccuWeather reports.
Colorado is expected to have a good view. The night sky is expected to be mostly clear in Colorado Springs with a low near 23 degrees, the National Weather Service in Pueblo predicts.
“The radiant point for the Quadrantids is easy to find as it sits near the Big Dipper, one of the most well-known constellations in the sky. However, meteors will be visible in all areas of the sky, not just near the Big Dipper,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Lada.
Although the peak time is over a single night, compared to the several nights of the Geminids shower, the Quadrantids are some of the brightest meteors. Quadrantids are known for their “bright fireball meteors.” Fireballs are larger explosions of light and color that can last longer than an average meteor streak, NASA reports.
The Quadrantids are named after an extinct constellation and, like the Geminids, originate from an asteroid. The meteors will enter the atmosphere at approximately 90,000 mph and will burn up about 50 miles above the Earth’s surface, NASA says.