Meteors, blood moon, Mercury's crossing coming to Southwest's sky

Although not as well-known as other meteor showers, the Quadrantid is expected to average 120 meteors per hour at its peak. Unlike the Perseids and Geminids, the peak for this particular shower only lasts several hours.

"Any place at mid-northern and far-northern latitudes might be in a decent position to watch the Quadrantids in 2019, especially as there is no moonlight to ruin this year's show", the EarthSky website says.

Thursday night, the Quadrantid meteor shower will produce a dazzling display in the sky for parts of the globe.

NASA describes the Quadrantids as "one of the best annual meteor showers", known for their "bright fireball meteors".

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Whether you live there or are willing to make the venture be sure to head down to the Southern Hemisphere to witness the spectacle of a total solar eclipse.

The Quadrantids appear to come from a constellation called "Quadrans Muralis", which was created in 1795 but is no longer recognised as a constellation. The Orionid meteor shower derives its name from the constellation Orion. For the best views find a safe location that is away from sources of light pollution such as street lights and where you can scan the whole sky.

Even if you only catch the shower at an off-peak moment, the rates of about 25 meteors per hour are still expected. Lie flat on your back with feet facing northeast and look up at the sky - it should take less than 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Between January 20 and 21, a rare super blood moon total lunar eclipse will be visible in North and South America, western areas in Europe and Africa, and a partial lunar eclipse will be visible in central and eastern Africa, Europe and Asia.

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