Meteor shower visible next five days

By Ros Runner - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Did you see any shooting stars early, this morning? If so, you are not alone. There's a little known meteor shower, happening right now.

The Quarantids Meteor Shower is just past its peak  However, some meteors should still be visible in the night sky through January 10, so you are not out of luck yet.

What is a meteor?  Commonly known as shooting stars, a meteor is the streak of bright light that can be seen from Earth when a chunk of space dust or rock burns up passing through the Earth's atmosphere.

Most meteors burn up in the atmosphere, but some big ones survive the trip to Earth.  If that happens, and they land on Earth, they are called meteorites -- if they are big enough, they can make big craters.

The Quadrantid Meteors, are relatively slow-moving -- that helps them occasionally create memorable, long streaks of light across the sky.

For the best meteor viewing, you need to find a dark spot, away from city lights, lay down, look at the darkest part of the sky and enjoy the show.

And there are other meteor showers you'll be able to see this year.

The Perseid Meteor showers happen in late July and August and would be a good addition to your 2011 planner.  The Perseids peak August 13-14. These are fan favorites because it's not so cold outside.

Don't miss the Leonids in autumn, which peak November 17-18. And Geminid peaks near the end of the year on December 13-14.

For more information about other meteor showers and celestial events in 2011, check this link.

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