credit: A Quadrantid meteor. NASA
Sunday night will showcase the first meteor shower of 2016 to help you wash away those post-holiday blues and your three-day hangover from New Year’s Eve. The first meteor shower of the new year is called the Quadrantid meteor shower.
These cosmic fireworks are expected to peak on Sunday, January 3, from night through to dawn. If the weather conditions are good and you’re not drowned in light pollution, you should be able catch a fair few streaks darting across the sky. The Quadrantid meteor shower is usually best seen from the Northern Hemisphere due to the shower’s radiant point. However, provided you’re north of the equator, you shouldn’t need to worry too much exactly where to look in the sky.
Although they’re colloquially known as “shooting stars,” what you are actually seeing are tiny fragments of cosmic dust hitting the Earth’s atmosphere, burning up and leaving a trail. In the case of these Quadrantid meteors, they’re believed to be specks of debris flinging off from the comet known as 2003 EH1.
The loyal stargazers at Slooh will also be broadcasting a live show to go with the event from 7 PM EST / 4 PM PST / 00:00 UTC on Sunday night. Along with a selection of hosts and astronomers, the show will detail the best ways to see and photograph the cosmic fireworks, the science behind them and the mythology that accompanies them. You can use the tag @Slooh on Twitter to chat and interact with the show’s guests and use their expertise to answer any questions you may have.
You will be able to live stream the Slooh show in the player below.