Getty Images

Here's How To Make Sure You Don't Miss 2016's First Meteor Shower

The Quadrantid meteor shower will be brief, but stunning.

You know what's beautiful? Space debris left behind by an extinct comet bursting into flame as it enters Earth's atmosphere, shuttling past our fragile planet as a field of dust and rock. Space is gorgeous and terrifying.

The Quadrantid meteor shower's brief but dazzling display will be 2016's first celestial light show and it'll be a good one. The comet whose demise is dusting the sky with debris was last seen in Southeast Asia in 1491, according to the New York Times. So watching the meteor shower is practically time travel.

The best time to check out the lights will be between 3 a.m. and dawn early Monday morning, according to You're going to want to get to the darkest place you can to really see the flash, though. Stay away from city lights and don't worry too much about the moonlight mucking up your view -- it's going to be a sliver of a crescent tonight.

The show should be visible through most of the Northern Hemisphere, but your view will be best if you're in Alaska or Hawaii, making this the perfect excuse to buy a super-last-minute plane ticket to Honolulu. (Sorry, Alaska, it's just way too cold right now.) Keep your eyes on the Big Dipper and you should see the meteors radiating out of a spot just near the constellation. The meteor shower will have a peak of just a few hours, whereas most shower peak over a few days, but the fireballs will be bigger and brighter than most.

But let's face it: Waking up at 3 a.m. sucks, no matter what sort of beautiful celestial phenomenon is occurring. So don't fret. You might miss the big show tonight, but according to, shooting stars could be visible for the next couple days.