There are several Meteor showers that will peak this coming year of 2022. One shower has already peaked, in fact, on January 2nd through the 3rd. However, there are still many other showers upcoming for people to watch. So what are Meteor showers? Meteor showers occur when Earth runs into the debris field left behind by icy comets or rocky asteroids going around the sun. These small particles burn up in the atmosphere, leading to blazing trails of light. The regularity of orbital mechanics means that any given meteor shower happens at roughly the same time each year, with the changing phases of the bright moon being the main variable affecting their visibility. Meteor showers are usually best viewed when the sky is darkest, after midnight but before sunrise. In order to see as many meteors as possible, one must wait for 30 to 45 minutes after you get to your viewing location. That will allow one’s eyes to adjust to the dark. Then lie back and take in a large swathe of the night sky. Clear nights, higher altitudes, and times when the moon’s light is dim are best.
Here are some examples of Meteor shows that will be available this year for viewers to see. The Quadrantids, which were active from Dec. 26, 2021, to Jan. 16, 2022, already peaked on Jan.2 and Jan 3. It will be best viewed from East Asia, around 2 a.m. in various time zones, because that is the part of the Earth that will be facing the debris field. The Lyrids, which is active from Apr. 15 to 29 and peaks on Apr. 21 to 22, is a morning shower, and best viewed in the early hours before dawn in the Northern Hemisphere, though some activity will be visible in the Southern Hemisphere. The Eta Aquariids, are active from Apr. 15 to May 27 and peak on May 4 to 5. The debris will enter over Earth’s Equator, meaning it will be visible in both hemispheres all over the world. These Meteor showers are all known to be a spectacle to watch.