Meteor shower expected to light up the sky Thursday morning

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 4:42 pm | Updated: 9:19 pm, Thu Jan 31, 2013.

SARASOTA - If you're looking to make a wish, then tonight is your night. The annual Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to wow star-gazers.

Experts say this is one of the bigger meteor showers of the year, one that lovers of stars and space will not want to miss. But if you're hoping to see any of this meteor shower Wednesday night, you better start drinking your coffee now -- experts say the best time to see the event will around 2:00am.

To get the best view, you want to head to areas like the beach that are away from lots of light. But one expert told ABC 7 that due to the size of this shower, just about anywhere you go is almost guaranteed to get a cosmic show.

"And at its peak, it’s one of the better showers; we can do about 100 meteors per hour during that shower." Jeff Rogers, director of the Bishop Planetarium in Bradenton, says you may think the meteors are hitting us...but in fact, it's actually the other way around. “It’s not like a sandstorm where the sand is blowing towards you, it’s more like sand that's stuck in space and we're plowing through that sand. So it's not coming at us, we are coming at it."

And because of that, experts know exactly when to predict a shower. "All of the meteor showers, we can predict them with great accuracy. We know where these fields of debris are, so we know when we're going to be moving through them," says Rogers.

Wednesday night's display will be brightest between 2am and dawn. And the good news is, there's rarely a bad seat in the house. "The nice thing about meteor showers is you don’t have to look in a particular location, because they'll stream across the entire nighttime sky."

The one downside Wednesday night is that the moon is expected to be out, so it could wash out some of the smaller streaks that we'll see. The whole shower supposed to last about 4-5 hours.

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