New Delhi: The New Year will start for astro enthusiasts with fireworks as a meteor shower peaks on Wednesday night, appearing as bright streaks of light zipping across the sky.

The International Meteor Organisation (IMO) expects maximum of 120 meteors per hour, Planetary Society of India General Secretary N Sri Raghunandan Kumar said on Tuesday.

However, the number of meteors can vary from 60 to 200 per hour as the Quadrantids meteor shower peaks on Wednesday, he said.

The shooting stars can be seen through naked eyes in the East and North-East directions away from city lights and no equipment such as telescope is required, he said.
It is called "Quadrantids Meteor Shower" as the radiant of the meteor shower lies in Bootes constellation which was earlier called Quadrans Muralis.

The source of the Quadrantid meteor shower was not known until December 2003 when Peter Jenniskens of the NASA Ames Research Center found evidence that Quadrantid meteoroids come from 2003 EH1, an "asteroid" that is probably a piece of a comet that broke up some 500 years ago.

The annual meteor shower is visible from December 28 to January 12.