The first meteor shower of 2024 will peak across West Yorkshire this week, only a few days into the new year.

The Quadrantid meteor shower follows on from the Geminid meteor shower back in December.

However, the Quadrantid meteor shower is among “the strongest and most consistent” meteor showers of the year, with a maximum rate of 110 meteors per hour on a clear night, reports Royal Museums Greenwich.

What is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The astronomical experts added: “Meteors are pieces of debris which enter our planet’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per second, vaporising and causing the streaks of light we call meteors.

The Quadrantids are known for their sharp peak which lasts a few hours.

“The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Boötes, near the Big Dipper.

“In 2004 astronomer Peter Jenniskens suggested that the parent body of the Quadrantids could be the minor planet 2003 EH1.”

When is the best time to see the Quadrantid meteor shower peak across West Yorkshire?

Although the Quadrantid meteor shower is active in the sky from December 28, 2023 until January 12, 2024, it will peak tonight (January 3-4).

Royal Museums Greenwich says hunting for meteors is a waiting game, so it's best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while.

It adds: “They can be seen with the naked eye so there's no need for binoculars or a telescope, though you will need to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark for at least 15 minutes beforehand.”

Where to see the Quadrantid meteor shower peak on Wednesday night across West Yorkshire

Go Stargazing recommends:

  • Buckstones Car Park - New Hey Road, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD3 3FT
  • Rosse Observatory - Carleton Road, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF8 3RJ
  • White Wells Car Park - Wells Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire, LS29 9JS

“For the best conditions, you want to find a safe location away from street lights and other sources of light pollution,” advises Royal Museum Greenwich.

“The meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so it’s ideal to go to a wide open space where you can scan the night sky with your eyes.

“In 2024, the maximum of the shower occurs around the Moon's Last Quarter phase, so moonlight will cause some interference in seeing the fainter meteors.”