Quadrantids meteor shower peaks tonight - how to watch in Israel

While this meteor shower is normally not as bright as the Perseids or Geminids, luck happens to be on its side this time.

 The Quadrantids meteor shower is seen above a home in Colorado in 2014. (photo credit: Shannon Dizmang/Flickr)
The Quadrantids meteor shower is seen above a home in Colorado in 2014.
(photo credit: Shannon Dizmang/Flickr)

The Quadrantids meteor shower is heading for Earth tonight, peaking in the hours between January 3 and January 4 in what is the first meteor shower of 2022. These meteor showers will light up the sky, and meteor-watchers in Israel should be able to see them, too.

Unlike the other prominent meteor showers of the year, the Perseids and the Geminids, this shower has a much tighter time frame and it often isn't as bright, but they are still very noticeable to those who know how to look.

The Quadrantids derive their name from Quadrans Muralis, a former constellation that is no longer recognized as such, following the International Astronomical Union's formalized list of officially recognized constellations in 1922. The naming is because this meteor shower was first spotted from this area.

However, they actually appear from a spot between the Big Dipper and Draco constellations.

The Quadrantids are believed to originate from (196256) 2003 EH1, a large asteroid several kilometers wide. This happens when the asteroid, believed to be an extinct comet, has debris fall off and head for Earth. Due to the Earths' atmosphere, these meteors simply burn up in a colorful display.

Asteroid illustrative (credit: Wikimedia Commons)Asteroid illustrative (credit: Wikimedia Commons)

While this meteor shower is normally not as bright as the Perseids or Geminids, luck happens to be on its side this time. This is because a new moon happened on January 2, meaning there won't be much light in the night sky obscuring the view.

And in Israel, this is no exception. Interested meteor-watchers in an area with clear, exposed access to the night sky might be able to catch a glimpse of this shower as it peaks at around midnight Israel time.