The first meteor shower of 2024 will be visible in Bolton skies this week.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is said to be one of the "strongest" and "most consistent" Brits will see in 2024 and it will be visible across the UK this week. 

Although this meteor shower has been active since December 28, it will this week reach its peak, making it visible to the naked eye.

What is the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The Quadrantid meteor shower produces blue meteors with fine trains that appear to come from the constellation Bootes near the Big Dipper, according to the Royal Museums Greenwich

The experts from the Royal Museums Greenwich added: "The Quadrantid meteor shower is among the strongest and most consistent meteor showers of the year, with a maximum rate of 110 meteors per hour on a clear night.

"The Quadrantids are known for their sharp peak which lasts a few hours."

Meteors are pieces of debris which enter earth's atmosphere at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per second, vaporising and causing streaks of light.

When is the best time to see the Quadrantid meteor shower in Bolton?

While the Quadrantid meteor shower has been active since December 28, 2023, it will reach its peak tonight (between January 3 and 4), according to Royal Museums Greenwich.

Time Out added the meteor shower should be visible (roughly) between midnight and 5am.

The meteor shower can be seen with the naked eye so you won't need binoculars or a telescope. 

The experts did advise allowing your eyes time to adjust to the dark for at least 15 minutes before trying to spot the meteors.

The Royal Museums Greenwich added: "Hunting for meteors, like the rest of astronomy, is a waiting game, so it's best to bring a comfy chair to sit on and to wrap up warm as you could be outside for a while."

Where are the best spots in Bolton to watch the Quadrantid meteor shower?

The experts at the Royal Museums Greenwich said: "For the best conditions, you want to find a safe location away from street lights and other sources of light pollution.

"The meteors can be seen in all parts of the sky, so it’s ideal to go to a wide open space where you can scan the night sky with your eyes."

Some of the best spots near Bolton to see the Quadrantid meteor shower tonight (Wednesday, January 3), according to Go Stargazing are:

  • Rivington Road Car Park, Rivington Road, Bolton
  • Livia Community Woodland – Forestry England, Pendlebury, Clifton
  • Salford Observatory, Chaseley Road, Chaseley Fields
  • The Astronomy Centre, Bacup Road A681, near Todmorden

The Quadrantid meteor shower will peak tonight (January 3 and 4) between midnight and 5am.