03/01/2012 07:21 GMT | Updated 03/01/2012 07:33 GMT

Quandrantid Meteor Shower: Spectacular Stellar Show To Light Up January Sky

Star gazers in the northern hemisphere will be able to see a little-known yet spectacular meteor shower streak across the night's sky on Wednesday.

Called a Quandrantid, the shower, which boasts up to 200 meteors an hour and can lasts for several hours, was first reported in 1825, and is believed to comprise fragments from a long since broken up comet.

"Dynamical studies suggest that this body could very well be a piece of a comet which broke apart several centuries ago, and that the meteors you will see before dawn on Jan. 4 are the small debris from this fragmentation," said Nasa.

"After hundreds of years orbiting the sun, they will enter our atmosphere at 90,000 mph, burning up 50 miles above Earth's surface".

The shower is named after the now extinct constellation Quandrans Muralis, first charted by the French astronomer Jerome Lalande in 1795.

According to the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester, "the moon just after first quarter will be setting in the west so its light should not hinder our view too much."

If you're hoping to gain a glimpse, the meteors "will appear to come from the constellation Bootes not far below the tail of Ursa Major, the Great Bear," they added.

In December, Brits were treated to the Geminids meteor shower, which peaked early on in the month. Geminids are debris released as the Earth passes through the dust particles of the asteroid-like object 3200 Phaethon.