quadrantid meteor shower

Meteor shower to peak over Toronto tonight and tomorrow

An intense meteor shower is expected to take place in the early morning hours over Toronto and the rest of the northern hemisphere on January 3, 2017. Known as the Quadrantid Meteor Shower, viewers in the right place at the right time, might see as many as 60 meteors per hour in the Toronto region.

Or you might see none at all. Unlike the Perseid meteor shower, for instance, this celestial event is notorious for a short burst of intense activity, after which there are few shooting stars to be seen.

If you get the timing right, the results can be glorious, particularly given that the peak is forecast to take place when there will be no moonlight to interfere with viewing.

As always, to see the most meteors, you'll need to get as far away from light pollution as possible, something that you can do using this map. I will note, however, that is totally possible to see bright meteors from Toronto.

A day before the peak of the Perseids last summer, I witnessed eight shooting stars in a roughly 40 minute period at Humber Bay Park West. So it is possible to get lucky without making a huge commitment to drive to a dark sky preserve.

This is the type of shower where something like that might be possible if the weather were to cooperate. Your best bet to catch the Quadrantid meteor shower this year is to look to toward the northeastern sky in the hours before dawn.

Fortunately that comes rather late at this time of year (sunrise is 7:51 a.m. tomorrow morning), so if you're up at 7 a.m. you might want to gaze skyward for a bit in the hopes of seeing a few shooting stars.

Alas, the weather forecast doesn't look good. Before you get too down, though, bear in mind that astronomers have great difficulty pinning down the peak of meteor showers, and it's totally worth trying again in the wee hours on January 4.

Lead photo by

Derek Flack


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