EVERY year there are perhaps a dozen meteor showers that are worth getting up early or staying up late for, and the first of 2019 will be at its peak this coming week, writes STUART ATKINSON.

The Quadrantid meteor shower is active every year from the last week of December through the first week of January. Named after an ancient constellation, Quadrans, that no longer exists, the Quadrantids will peak this year in the early hours of January 4. The good news is that there will be no Moon in the sky to drown out the light of the fainter meteors, so if there's a clear sky overnight on January 3 we should be able to see a shooting star every few minutes between midnight and dawn.

Although you will see the brightest meteors of the shower from your garden if you can get out of town to somewhere dark, with a big view of the sky and no light pollution, you'll see many more. You won't need a telescope to see the shooting stars, your eye will be more than good enough, but if you have binoculars you can use those to zoom in the ghostly smoke trails the brightest meteors sometimes leave behind to twist and turn in the sky before fading away.

If you're very lucky you might see a very bright meteor - a fireball - crossing the sky. Should you make a wish? Well, it can't hurt... good luck!