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Get Ready for the Best Meteor Showers of 2013

The year's first shower, the Quadrantid shower, is already behind us, and star gazers will have to wait until April (generally considered to be the start of meteor shower season) for the next big show

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Mark your calendars: the complete guide to 2013′s meteor shower dates, times and viewing tips is out. As MeteorWatch writes, not all of the annual meteor showers are listed, but the most popular ones, with high rates of meteors visible per hour—the ones most likely of interest to beginners or casual observers—are detailed on their site.

The year’s first shower, the Quadrantid shower, is already behind us, and star gazers will have to wait until April (generally considered to be the start of meteor shower season) for the next big show, the Lyrid meteor shower.

Not all meteors or shooting stars belong to a meteor shower. To figure out if a meteor comes from a particular shower, its path must be traced back to its particular origin. Contrary to popular belief, meteor observers do not need to look in the direction of a particular meteor shower to view the spectacle. Rather, observers simply need to look up in no particular direction. Meteors will appear randomly in any part of the sky during the show. And for the rest of the year, there are always shooting stars to keep an eye out for.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Rare Meteor Event Inspired Walt Whitman 
The Blazing Career and Mysterious Death of “the Swedish Meteor”

 

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