Experts explain how best to view the Quadrantid meteor shower

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January 3, 2009 – Quadrantid Meteor Shower, Milky Way and Aurora, Bow Valley, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. (Getty)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — One of the biggest meteor showers of the year is expected to peak over the next few days. 

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower takes place in the first week of January. Under perfect conditions, you can see between 60 and 200 meteors per hour. The activity range is from Dec. 26 to Jan. 16, but it only lasts about six hours, according to the American Meteor Society

Predictions for the best times to see the meteor shower vary among experts. The American Meteor Society predicts it should peak between Sunday night and Monday morning. However, The International Meteor Organization says the shower will peak on Monday night around 8:40 p.m. Universal Time and continue through Tuesday.

You can find out how clear it will be at night by checking out this meteor spotting tool map from Time and Date.com. The tool allows you to enter a date range along with a location, and see the times with the best visibility of the shower.

Due to the poor weather conditions in January, experts from Earthsky.org say these meteors are not well seen from the Southern Hemisphere. For those who are watching in the Northern Hemisphere, you should look to the north-northeastern sky after midnight and high in the sky before dawn. 

Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through streams of debris left behind in the wake of comets and asteroids. In The Sky says shooting stars are seen whenever one of these pieces of debris collides with the Earth’s atmosphere.

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