Facts about the Quadrantids meteor shower

The Quadrantids meteor shower is made up of space debris that will enter our atmosphere at speeds of 90,000 mph before burning up 50 miles above Earth's surface.

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

It will be technically visible all over the world with the exception of Antarctica, although light pollution and cloud cover means that only some will see it in practice.

At its peak, stargazers may see up to 120 meteors per hour.

It was named after an extinct constellation - Quadrans Muralis - which was created by the French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795. The term 'Quadrans' refers to a quadrant - an early astronomical instrument used to observe and plot stars.

Advertisement

Quadrantids meteor shower

NASA's cameras have captured the first meteor shower of the year. As many as 100 shooting stars were visible every hour across the skies of Britain and the Northern Hemisphere.