Watch the 2012 Quadrantid Meteor Shower

Quadrantid meteors ©The American Meteor Society

Quadrantid meteors ©The American Meteor Society

Catch the biggest meteor shower on your Florida vacation

Catch this year’s first meteor shower in the early morning on January 4th! According to NASA more than 100 shooting stars will stream through the sky each hour. Good news is the shooting stars are best viewed in North America’s eastern skies, bad news is they’re most visible in the wee hours of the morning and will peak at 2:30 a.m.

A waxing moon

Since the moon is 72% full, only the brightest meteors will be visible. Other than light pollution, note that tall objects such astrees or buildings can obstruct some of your viewing area – it’s best to have a large expanse of the sky open to you.

A Dark Sky is Best

It’s best to be far away from the glow of lights. If you can see details of constellations, such as the Little Dipper, the sky in your area should be suitable. Make sure you find a safe spot for viewing – the South Florida Amateur Astronomy Association (SFAAA) has a Google Earth Overlay of observing locations such as Kirby Storter Road Side Park and Fox Observatory in Markham Park.

Live Sky Cam

Remember that as cold as it may be, there are people further north stepping out in below zero temperatures to view this annual event. If you choose to stay inside,  live camera feed at the Marshall Space Flight Center is available.

Gazing Tip

Face northeast, give your eyes time to adjust to the dark, then scan the horizon and sky for the shooting stars.

Tell us…

What’s your favorite astronomical event of the year?