The Quadrantid Meteor Shower will reach its peak in the predawn hours of January 4th (around 2:00 a.m. EST) for eastern North America. The Quadrantid meteor shower is a short-lived meteor display, whose peak rates only last several hours. The phase of the moon is a bright waxing gibbous, normally prohibitive for viewing any meteor shower, but the moon will set by 3 a.m., leaving the sky dark for a few hours until the first light of dawn; that's when you'll have the best shot at seeing many of these bluish-hued meteors.
From the eastern half of North America, a sky watchers can count on seeing as many as 50 to 100 meteors per hour. From the western half of the continent the display will decrease by the time the moon sets, with hourly rates probably around 25 to 50 meteors.
Meteor showers occur when the Earth passes through fields of debris left behind by comets or asteroids in the past. The result is that, instead of the handful of meteors, or "shooting stars," which can be seen any clear night, we get a "shower" of meteors: dozens or even hundreds of meteors over the course of an evening.
Here are some tips to help your meteor shower viewing be successful.
Whether you are watching from a downtown area or the dark countryside watching a meteor shower is an awesome experience.
The Moon – The moon is not your friend during a meteor shower. There is nothing you can do about the bright light reflecting off the moon. You’ll have to put up with it or wait until the next favorable shower.
City Lights – The best thing you can do is to get as far away from urban light pollution as possible. Find a clear, unclouded spot to view the night sky.
Meteors will always travel away from the constellation for which the shower is named. This apparent point of origin is called the “radiant”. For example, meteors during the Leonid meteor shower will appear to originate from the constellation Leo.
Be sure to dress for outside conditions. This means appropriate clothing for hot or cold overnight temperatures.
Bring something comfortable on which to sit or lie down. A reclining chair or ground pad will make it far more comfortable to keep your gaze on the night sky. Plan to be patient and spend at least half an hour watching the display.
Don’t use a telescope or binoculars. This will reduce the amount of sky you can see at one time lowering the odds that you’ll see anything. Relax your eyes and they will quickly zone in on any movement up above.
Avoid looking at your cell phone or any other bright light. If you have to look at something use a red light. Many flashlights have an interchangeable red filter.