Meteor Shower Tonight: Quadrantids Best Before Dawn

This meteor shower reaches its peak in the predawn hours of Jan. 4 for eastern North America. The Quadrantid meteor shower is a very short-lived meteor display, whose peak rates only last several hours. The phase of the moon is a bright waxing gibbous,

The Quadrantid meteor shower, the first of 2012, should be at its best between 3 am and dawn, Eastern time. If you get lucky, you may get a silently satisfying sky show. The Quadrantids are often the most intense of the year's regular meteor showers,

By Martha Mueller Neff, The Plain Dealer Plain Dealer fileVisitors to Kirtland's Penitentiary Glen Nature Center look through a telescope to see the Perseid meteor shower in 2006 (glow necklaces made the party even more colorful).

Gemenid meteor shower watchers can't figure out where all the material in the event comes from. Asteroid 3200 Phaethon, the apparent source of the Gemenid meteor shower, doesn't seem to shed enough rock and dust to account for the shower's intensity.

The first of the 2012 meteor showers – The Quadrantids, peak on the night of the 3rd and 4th of January with up to 120 meteors per hour.