One of the most prolific meteor showers of the year often goes unnoticed by northern observers. The Quadrantid Meteor Shower produces as many as 100 meteors per hour, but only during a short window, this year midnight until 6:00 AM. The bright Last Quarter Moon will interfere with viewing.

Night owls might find the pairing of the Last Quarter Moon and the bluish-white star Spica a “hoot” in the hours after midnight. Rising in the east-southeast by 1:25 AM, they take their time climbing into the east. They continue to due south near 6:30 AM, and then fade in brightening twilight as the rising Sun takes over the skies after 7:30 AM. They meet again at month’s end.

The Big Dipper is beginning to rise into the northeast. The two stars on the end of the “bowl” of the Dipper, known as the “pointer stars”, can serve to form a line, extending to the left where they guide you to Polaris, the North Star.