Prolific Quadrantid meteor shower expected on weekend

Astronomy buffs in Taiwan will soon have a chance to spot shooting stars as the annual Quadrantid meteor shower nears its peak, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Monday. (NOWnews)
Astronomy buffs in Taiwan will soon have a chance to spot shooting stars as the annual Quadrantid meteor shower nears its peak, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Monday. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Astronomy buffs in Taiwan will soon have a chance to spot shooting stars as the annual Quadrantid meteor shower nears its peak, the Taipei Astronomical Museum said Monday.

The best time to observe the Quadrantids is from 11 p.m. on Jan. 4 into the early hours of Jan. 5, when an average of 120 meteors per hour could flash through the sky from the north.

With no interference from the moon, the view of the Quadrantids could be very promising, the museum said, particularly because the meteor shower is known for producing bolides — extremely bright shooting stars of an apparent magnitude of minus 14 or brighter.

The fireballs can be easily spotted by the naked eye as long as skywatchers head to mountainous or suburban areas where there is less light and air pollution.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is the first of the three most prominent annual meteor showers, along with the Perseids in August and Geminids in December.

The origin of the Quadrantids remains unclear, but the museum said the meteor shower is most likely debris from Comet 2003 EH1.

The Central Weather Bureau has forecast mainly clear skies across the island during the celestial event, except for areas in eastern parts of the country and outlying islands.

The museum will also broadcast the meteor shower live on its website: https://www.tam.gov.taipei