A treat on my birthday: Meteor shower tonight could show 100 shooting stars per hour tonight!

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Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere can look forward to 2012’s first meteor shower which is set to peak at 2:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Lasting for several hours, observers can expect theQuadrantid meteor shower to produce as many as 100 shooting stars each hour, according to NASA.

With the moon setting at 3 a.m. EST, ABC News reports those in North America brave enough to face the cold pre-dawn air can look forward to clear skies that are perfect for spotting meteors.

First documented in 1825, the little-known meteor shower is named after the obsolete constellationQuadrans Muralis, which is no longer recognized by the International Astronomical Unionaccording to Discovery News.

Located between the constellations of Bootes and Draco, NASA writes that the Quadrans symbolize an early astronomical instrument used to observe and plot stars.

Meteor showers happen when the Earth travels through the tail of debris left over from comets or asteroids, notes Space.com.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.