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Quadrantids meteor shower peaks January 3

Lucky meteor watchers may be able to catch a fireball among the meteor sparks during the annual appearance of the Quandrantids.

If you're in the western parts of North America or on a Pacific island, you may be in luck Tuesday morning.

The Quadrantids meteor shower is set to hit peak performance around 6 a.m. PST. A NASA ScienceCast released Friday gets into some of the details of this brief but potentially spectacular meteor performance.

The Quadrantids come about when Earth passes through debris from broken-up comet 2003 EH1. "Extra motivation to go out and view the Quadrantids is provided by the shower's reputation for producing spectacular fireballs," says NASA's Brian Day. The shower is short-lived, hitting max meteor production over the course of just a few hours.

The American Meteor Society offers some viewing tips: "Since Quadrantid meteors can be seen in any portion of the sky, face toward the darkest direction that is free of trees or other objects that may block your view of the sky. Don't look straight up; rather look halfway up to see the most activity."

If you're lucky, you may see one of the Quadrantids' famous fireballs.