January 2022 Meteor Showers Guide

~2 min
January 2022 Meteor Showers Guide

In January 2022, two meteor showers will reach their peaks of activity. Read on to learn when it’s best to observe them in the sky.

You can also take our quiz about shooting stars to get helpful meteor-hunting tips.

Which Moon phase is preferable for observing shooting stars? Where should you look to see the most meteors? With this quiz, you can test your knowledge about meteor showers and get useful tips on how to catch the most shooting stars.
Take the quiz!

January 3: Quadrantids

  • ZHR: 120
  • Moon illumination: 0%
  • Active: December 28 - January 12
  • Radiant location: constellation Bootes
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

The year 2022 starts with the Quadrantids. This meteor shower can produce up to 120 meteors per hour, but the average hourly rate doesn’t exceed 25 meteors. In 2022, the Quadrantids peak occurs just one day after the New Moon, so the viewing conditions will be optimal if the sky is clear. According to the International Meteor Organization, the exact time of the shower’s maximum will be 20:40 GMT (3:40 p.m. EST). The peak will last for only about 4 hours, so don’t miss it!

January 18: Gamma Ursae Minorids

  • ZHR: 3
  • Moon illumination: 99%
  • Active: January 10-22
  • Radiant location: constellation Ursa Minor
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

Gamma Ursae Minorids (γ-Ursae Minorids) have little to boast about — it’s a weak meteor stream with a peak rate of only three meteors per hour. Moreover, this year, the Full Moon shining in the sky during the shower’s peak can easily ruin your observations. The good news is, the Moon will be positioned far from the shower’s radiant, so you can still manage to catch a few meteors.

For any meteor shower, the higher the radiant in the sky, the more meteors you are likely to see. If you want to learn the radiant’s position (as well as the Moon phase for any chosen date), use our stargazing apps: Star Walk 2 or Sky Tonight.

Although the beginning of 2022 doesn’t offer much in terms of prolific meteor showers, a pleasant surprise might be waiting for us later this year. On May 31, a rare meteor storm is expected to occur as large amounts of dust released from comet 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This spectacular event will be best visible in parts of North and entire Central America. We’ll keep you updated on the event as more data is available.

We wish you clear skies and happy observations!

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