Meteor watchers in North America can expect to see 60 to 200 meteors an hour streak across the sky early Wednesday.NASA says the Quadrantid meteor shower should be perfect for viewing around 3 a.m. local time Wednesday after the waxing gibbous moon sets.
But the light show won't last long, NASA says – only a few hours.
The Quadrantids were first noted in 1825 and got their name from the constellation of Quadrans Muralis, which is no longer considered a constellation by astronomers, according to NASA.
The material that is burning up in Earth's atmosphere during the Quadrantids likely comes from a comet that broke into fragments centuries ago, NASA says.
"After hundreds of years orbiting the sun, they will enter our atmosphere at 90,000 mph, burning up 50 miles above Earth's surface," a NASA press release says.