Quadrantids meteor shower to light up UAE skies this week

Fireball meteors set to explode into view on Thursday evening

An overlay image of 90 photographs shows the Quadrantids meteor shower in northern Spain on January 3 2022. Photo: EPA
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Fireball meteors are forecast to light up the UAE's skies this week in the first celestial display of 2024.

Stargazers are being urged not to miss out on the chance to catch the Quadrantids meteor shows, which are expected to be at peak visibility on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

As many as 200 meteors can be seen an hour in ideal conditions. Visibility depends on weather.

Quadrantids are renowned for their bright fireball meteors, which are large explosions of light and colour.

Dubai Astronomy Group will host a viewing of the event at Al Qudra Desert from 11pm on Thursday.

The gathering is expected to last until 4am on Friday.

“The Quadrantids typically display activity from late December to the second week of January, with the peak occurring on January 4-5 in Dubai this year,” Dubai Astronomy Group said on its website.

“Unlike other meteor shows that enjoy a more extended peak period, the Quadrantids peak for just a short burst of a few hours.”

The group said that the position of the Moon could interfere with this year's meteor shower.

“This year, the Moon’s presence may impact the meteors’ clarity, making them less distinct compared to a moonless night. It won’t be as crystal clear as on a moonless night, so we’re presenting this as a casual stargazing event with the possibility of catching a glimpse of meteors.”

Tickets for the event cost between Dh80 and Dh140. Details can be found on the group's website.

In December, about 500 people gathered in Al Qudra desert to witness the Geminids meteor shower at an event staged by the group.

Despite cloudy conditions being forecast, clear weather helped stargazers see the bright meteors that moved at speeds of 125,528kph.

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Updated: January 03, 2024, 5:10 AM