Welcome 2017! We usher in the new year with two dark sky alerts for those willing to bundle up and head outside early on a cold January morning.
The Quadrantid Meteor Shower peaks during the first week of January but you’re going to have to get up well before the sun for a glimpse. Forecasters predict that those who look up at the right moment during the wee hours of January 3 could see as many as 100 meteors per hour radiating from a point very near the North Star.
While you’re up, look to the east just before dawn during the first two weeks of January and you may be rewarded with a view of Comet U1 NEOWISE. Discovered just as 2016 was drawing to a close, the comet is expected to reach maximum brightness mid-January and even then, it will likely be best viewed with a pair of binoculars.