Colorful meteors expected Thursday night

By  | 

TOLEDO, OH (WTVG) – A colorful meteor shower will peak tonight (Thursday evening...January 3rd 2019) between 9-10pm EST. The Quadrantid Meteor shower is normally a dud in the Great Lakes region due to cloud cover and/or bright moonlight, but tonight we should be cloud free without any moonlight. 30 to 40 meteors per hour could be visible away from the city lights. Dust particles similar in size to grape-nuts cereal will enter the upper parts of the earth's atmosphere at about 26 miles per second. Believe it or not, that is considered slow for an approaching meteor. The slow speed leads to a nice display and often times it comes with color. The Quadrantids often appear in the color green, pink, yellow, and light blue. The sky is expected to be clear tonight. If you want to see the show, it is best to get away from light pollution and look to the north/northwest to directly overhead. Temperatures will fall into the low 30s overnight.

Dr. Laura Megeath is the coordinator of the Appold Planetarium at Lourdes University.

"Meteor showers are notoriously hard to predict. Some years these have been colorful. It's also produced some that are earth graizers, they're low in the sky but really very bright," said Dr. Megeath.

She has a few tips on how to enhance the viewing experience.

"People need to bundle up, stay warm, go outside give yourself at least 15 minutes just to let your eyes get used to the dark sky. So, you want to go away from city lights, away from tall trees, buildings because you know they can appear really anywhere in the sky," said Dr. Megeath.

Another tip she shared is to not use a telescope or binoculars. The meteors go by so fast and can come from any direction, so Dr. Megeath says you'll probably miss them if you try to view them that way. Again, just head outside after 10 PM and simply look up to take it all in.

Dr. Megeath says if you miss it tonight, you can come to the planetarium at Lourdes University on Saturday night to look at a simulation of the meteor shower. You'll even be able to see it from the perspective of a comet.