Home   Sun & Moon   Meteor Showers   When and Where to See the Quadrantids in 2018

When and Where to See the Quadrantids in 2018

In 2018, the first major shower of the year, the Quadrantids, will peak on the night of January 3 and early morning hours of January 4.

Illustration image

The Quadrantids peak around Jan 3 to 4.

Unlike other meteor showers, the Quadrantids tend to peak only for a few hours.

NASA/MSFC/MEO

A Full Moon may make it difficult to see some of the fainter meteors. If you still wish to try your luck, astronomers predict a peak in meteor activity after nightfall on January 3 to 4.

Short Peak

The Quadrantids is usually active between the end of December and the second week of January, and peaks around January 3 to January 4. Unlike other meteor showers that tend to stay at their peak for about two days, the peak period of the Quadrantids is only for a few hours.

Defunct Constellation

The shower owes its name to the now defunct constellation Quadrans Muralis. The constellation was left off a list of constellations drawn out by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1922, but because the shower had already been named after Quadrans Muralis, its name was not changed. The Quadrantids is also sometimes called Bootids after the modern constellation, Boötes.

The Quadrantids are associated with an asteroid - the 2003 EH1. The asteroid takes about 5.5 years to orbit around the Sun.

Illustration image
Look below the Big Dipper.
The meteor shower Quadrantids is seen below the constellation Ursa Minor and the Big Dipper..

Where to View the Quadrantids

Observers in the Northern Hemisphere are the best suited to view the Quadrantids.

While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower, astronomers suggest lying down on the ground looking towards the North and look at the sky above you to view the Quadrantids.

Location in the Sky

The Quadrantids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. Maximum for the shower is on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm; the table below is for that night:

Quadrantids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between January 3 and January 4)
TimeAzimuth/DirectionAltitude
Wed 6:00 pm336°North-northwest4.8°
Wed 7:00 pm345°North-northwest1.1°
Wed 10:00 pm14°North-northeast0.7°
Wed 11:00 pm23°North-northeast4.1°
Thu 12:00 midnight31°North-northeast9.3°
Thu 1:00 am38°Northeast15.9°
Thu 2:00 am45°Northeast23.7°
Thu 3:00 am50°Northeast32.3°
Thu 4:00 am54°Northeast41.5°
Thu 5:00 am57°East-northeast51.1°
Thu 6:00 am57°East-northeast60.9°
Note: times are for Jan 3, 2018. Set your location

How to Watch Meteor Showers

  • Check the weather: Meteors, or shooting stars, are easy to spot, all you need is clear skies and a pair of eyes.
  • Get out of town: Find a place as far away as possible from artificial lights
  • Prepare to wait: Bring something to sit or lie down on. Star gazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, January, December

Advertising

Meteor Showers Library

  1. January: Quadrantids
  2. April: Lyrids
  3. May: Eta Aquarids
  4. August: Perseids
  5. October: Draconids
  6. October: Orionids
  7. November: Leonids
  8. December: Geminids
  9. December : Ursids

What Is a Meteor Shower?

Moonrise & Moonset Times

Moon Phases In Your City

Weather Look-Up

You might also like

2017 / 2018 Cosmic Calendar

List of cosmic events in 2017 an 2018 including supermoons, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, solstices, and equinoxes. more

The Full Moon behind three horses.

Full Moon Names

Full Moons had given names in many ancient cultures. The Full Moon names we use today often reflect nature like Harvest Moon. more

Howling lone gray wolf in snow covered landscape.

January: Wolf Moon

The January Full Moon is named after howling wolves. In some cultures, it was known as Old Moon, Ice Moon, Snow Moon, and the Moon after Yule. more

12 Months of the Year

Find out what months have to do with the Moon, why there are 12 months, and what the month names mean. more