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Quadrantids meteor shower may put on a show Saturday morning

But you'll need to be up really early

A meteor shower
A meteor streaks across the sky above desert pine trees in the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area in Nevada.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images 2015

There’s a chance to catch one of the best annual meteor showers very early on Saturday as long as the skies are clear and you can wake up for it.

The International Meteor Organization expects that the Quadrantids meteor shower to peak around 2:20 a.m. Central Time.

The shower has been active since around Dec. 27, and continues through Jan. 10. However, the peak — which only lasts about six hours — offers the potential to see possibly 15 to 25 meteors per hour, and even more if conditions are ideal.

The IMO suggests the best strategy to spot meteors is to face the northeast quadrant of the sky and center your view about halfway up in the sky. EarthSky.org suggests that northern latitudes have a stronger chance to catch the shower since the radiant point “is far north on the sky’s dome.”

Keep your gaze just below the Big Dipper constellation for a good chance to spot the shower's center point, known as the radiant.

While most meteor showers originate from comets, the Quadrantids have been found to originate from an asteroid called Asteroid 2003 EH1, according to the IMO. That asteroid takes about 5.52 years to orbit our sun.

Use the star chart below provided by meteorshowers.org to see how the asteroid that creates the Quadrantids meteor shower orbits our solar system. You can move the orbits by clicking and dragging with a mouse, or pan the view by right-clicking. Scroll to zoom in.

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