2022 starts with the Quadrantid meteor shower, which will probably be one of the strongest showers of the year.

Iran PressSci & Tech: The year starts with the Quadrantid meteor shower, named after Quadrans Muralis, an archaic constellation that modern astronomers lump in with the constellation known as Boötes. There is a possibility it will be one of the strongest showers of the year.

The Quadrantids’ maximum activity occurs one day after the new moon, so conditions should be optimal for viewing. While the shower can have up to 120 visible meteors per hour, it happens in January when the weather may be more likely to be cloudy, meaning that predicted rates are closer to 25 per hour in dark skies. The event is also most active during a short six-hour window. 

It will be best viewed from East Asia, around 2 a.m. in various time zones, because that is the part of the Earth that will be facing the debris field. But people in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere have a chance of seeing many fireballs.

On any given night, far from bright city lights, there’s a chance you’ll see a beautiful streak shoot across the sky as a meteor flies overhead. But on special dates scattered throughout the year, skywatchers can catch a multitude of flares as meteor showers burst in the darkness.

Meteor showers occur when our planet runs into the debris field left behind by icy comets or rocky asteroids going around the sun. These small particles burn up in the atmosphere, leading to blazing trails of light. The regularity of orbital mechanics means that any given meteor shower happens at roughly the same time each year, with the changing phases of the bright moon being the main variable affecting their visibility. 

The best practice to see a shower is to head out to the countryside and get as far away from artificial light sources as possible. People in rural areas may have the luxury of just stepping outside. 

Meteor showers are usually best viewed when the sky is darkest, after midnight but before sunrise. In order to see as many meteors as possible, wait 30 to 45 minutes after you get to your viewing location. That will allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. Then lay back and take in a large swathe of the night sky. Clear nights, higher altitudes and times when the moon is slim or absent are best. 

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