Stargazers prepare to watch Quadrantids meteor shower

The Quadrantids meteor shower Photo: NASA/MSFC

Stargazers are preparing for what is likely to be one of the year's most impressive meteor showers over the UK in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The Quadrantids meteor will be visible over the UK tonight and will reach its peak between 3am and dawn, when viewers may see as many as 120 'shooting stars' per hour.

The best place to watch a meteor shower is away from city lights. You can check the likelihood of a clear night in your area on the Met Office website.

Please send your photos of the meteor shower to yourstory@itn.co.uk.

A shooting star captured during the 2012 Quadrantids meteor shower Credit: Donovan Shortey

The Quadrantids meteor shower is visible each January and is caused by space debris entering our atmosphere at speeds of 90,000 mph before burning up 50 miles above Earth's surface.

It is technically possible to see the display all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica, although light pollution and cloud cover means that only some will get a good view.

The Quadrantids (pronounced KWA-dran-tids) was named after an extinct constellation - Quadrans Muralis. The term 'Quadrans' refers to a quadrant - an early astronomical instrument used to observe and plot stars.

Discover more about Quadrantids: