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When Exactly Is the Quadrantids Meteor Shower?

Updated: Clouds, city lights and brief duration could make it difficult to catch a shooting star, but there's always online viewing.

Updated below. If you blink you might miss the Quadrantids Meteor Shower. It peaks in the hours right before dawn on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2012, with a maximum number of meteors per hour of about 80.

The Quadrantids come from an asteroid called 2003 EH1, just as the Geminids did in early December. Meteor showers usually are named based on the constellations where they originate. Quadrans Muralis (mural quadrant) between Bootes and Draco.

The meteor shower is expected to last "only a few hours," according to NASA.com. That means you should look for it in tonight (the night of Jan. 2–3), not tomorrow night (the night of Jan. 3–4). The moon will set after midnight, so the best time to view the meteors will be between then and sunrise at about 7:50 a.m.

There will likely be at least some cloud cover in Fridley tonight, with light snow predicted, but you can watch a Ustream feed of the meteor shower on Jan. 2–4 on NASA.com.

You'll have more luck catching the shooting stars if you're in a place not polluted by light.

In Fridley, that makes your best bet Springbrook Nature Center, which boasts plenty of wide open and dark spaces.

The area around some of the city's lakes—West or East Moore Lake, or Locke Lake—would also be good viewing spots.

Update (5:30 p.m. Wednesday): The forecast continues to say light snow overnight but clear on Thursday. So exactly when the skies clear could determine whether there's a chance of seeing these meteors.

Update (6:15 a.m. Thursday): Still overcast in the Twin Cities.

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