The Quadrantids meteor show is one of the big three meteor shows along with the Perseids and the Geminids. Unfortunately, it is not as well known as these two other shows for one key reason: it is so very cold.
The Quadrantids peak on January 3/4, 2020 giving approximately 120 shooting stars per hour. And although that's quite a show to glimpse, it is too freezing during that month for people to go outside and wait for the meteor show.
Instead, they need to wear a big jacket and get a quick glimpse. Luckily, a quick glimpse might be all you need for the Quadrantids. The Quadrantids are considered the most intense meteor shower of the year.
They have a stream that is dense yet narrow, so their peak is just six hours. Catching that peak alone is enough of an experience to leave you bewildered.
This is tricky though because it means you have to catch the Quadrantids at exactly the right time. That time is 8:20 UTC on January 4, 2020, 03:20 EST, 00:20 PST, and 08:20 GMT.
When outside, look for the red giant star Arcturus. That’s where you are likely to see the most shooting stars although they can actually be seen anywhere in the night sky. However, you should not face south.
Although the Quadrantids are faint in anything but very dark skies, they do feature huge fireballs. Just seeing one of those is worth all the trouble!
There is one obstacle however that fans of the Quadrantids are expected to face and that is cloudy weather. A storm is expected to produce rain over areas from New England to the Appalachians, the Ohio Valley and the lower Great Lakes region to end this week, said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
But don't let that despair you. Dress up nice and warm and bring an umbrella and watch the sky for that lucky fireball!