First Meteor Shower of 2012 Hits Skies Wednesday Morning

National

0  Updated at 12:30 pm, January 3rd, 2012 By: ABC Digital
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Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — If you’re up early Wednesday morning and the weather is promising, bundle up and go outside. The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first of 2012, should be at its best between 3 a.m. and dawn, Eastern Time.

The Quadrantids are often the most intense of the year’s regular meteor showers, but also one of the shortest. They happen when Earth passes through the narrow trail of debris left by an asteroid called 2003 EH1, so they only last a few hours. If it’s clear, astronomers say you could see 60-200 streaks across the sky per hour.

Because of the direction from which they come, the Quadrantids are a northern-hemisphere phenomenon. And because of the timing — the shower peaking as the moon sets — the best seeing should be in the eastern half of the country.  

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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