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When and Where to See the Quadrantids in 2019

In 2019, the first major shower of the year, the Quadrantids, will peak on the night between January 3 and January 4

Illustration image

The Quadrantids peak around Jan 3 and 4.

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


A near New Moon provides good viewing conditions to catch a glimpse of some of the fainter meteors. Astronomers predict a peak in meteor activity after nightfall on January 3.

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 only lasts a few hours.

Defunct Constellation

Peak dates:
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Beta The animation shows the position of the radiant (the red circle) in the night sky above Washington DC ...Change location

All times shown are local times. Use the Select night drop-down menu above the animation to select other dates. Click on the Peak dates link above the animation to select the night when the meteor shower peaks. Press the play button (►) to see how the radiant will move across the sky through the night with respect to your position on the ground. Alternatively, you can rotate the sky manually by using your mouse or touchpad. Clicking on the red arrow will take you back to the radiant.

During the nights of meteor shower activity, the animation automatically shows the real-time position of the radiant. Clicking the LIVE button, changing dates, or manually rotating the sky will take you out of the live mode.

The animation is representative; it does not show the exact numbers of meteors visible at any given time. You could see more or fewer shooting stars depending on the level of meteor shower activity.

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 tonight. Maximum for the shower is on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 9:09 pm; the table below is for that night:

Quadrantids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between January 3 and January 4)
Thu 6:00 pm336°North-northwest4.9°
Thu 7:00 pm345°North-northwest1.1°
Thu 10:00 pm14°North-northeast0.6°
Thu 11:00 pm23°North-northeast3.9°
Fri 12:00 midnight31°North-northeast9.1°
Fri 1:00 am38°Northeast15.7°
Fri 2:00 am45°Northeast23.4°
Fri 3:00 am50°Northeast32.0°
Fri 4:00 am54°Northeast41.2°
Fri 5:00 am57°East-northeast50.9°
Fri 6:00 am57°East-northeast60.6°
Note: times are for Jan 3, 2019. 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. Stargazing is a waiting game, so get comfortable.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, January, December


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?

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