SINGAPORE: Astronomy lovers in the region, including in Singapore and Malaysia, may want to stay up on Thursday (Jan 3) night with the first - and possibly best - meteor shower of the year expected to peak in the early hours of Friday.
With its "bright fireball meteors" appearing at up to 200 an hour, the Quadrantids meteor shower is considered one of the best ones of the year, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on its website.
It typically occurs in early January and has a shorter peak than others, the website stated.
Stargazers in Singapore will be able to view the shower without the use of binoculars or telescopes, provided there is clear weather, said Science Centre Singapore, adding that they can expect to witness up to 120 meteors per hour on this particular occasion.
For best viewing, stargazers may set up camp at "dark-sky locations" including Mount Faber, Pulau Ubin, Sungei Buloh and Tampines Ecogreen after 4am on Friday, said the centre.
On Thursday afternoon, Malaysia's national space agency ANGKASA also shared information about the Quadrantids, which it said can be viewed in Malaysia with the naked eye in clear weather and in an area free from light.
Science Centre Singapore advised stargazers to check the star map as the shower will appear near the constellations Bootes, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
"It is advisable to dress for the weather as meteor-watching is a waiting game," it added.
On its website, NASA advised those keen on watching the celestial event to lie flat on their back, facing northeast. "In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient - the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse," it wrote.