The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) says that the reason the peak is so short is “due to the shower’s thin stream of particles and the fact that the Earth crosses the stream at a perpendicular angle”.
Quadrantids are also known for their bright ‘fireball’ meteors, which appear blue in colour.
The US space agency described them as “larger explosions of light and colour that can persist longer than an average meteor streak”.
It added: “This is due to the fact that fireballs originate from larger particles of material. Fireballs are also brighter, with magnitudes brighter than -3 (degrees).”