Stargazers have a new reason to relax on a couch while watching the beautiful sky during the night. They’ll get to witness the Ursid meteor shower as it will delight our view with five to ten meteors produced per hour. You won’t even need a telescope for the celestial show, and attending it is entirely free of charge.
Ursid is considered a small meteor shower, but it’s still better than nothing for stargazers. The event occurs annually around December 17, and it runs until Christmas or 26th.
Beware for the peak on December 22
If you want to catch the Ursid meteor shower in all its glory, you must stay awake and aware during the evening of December 21 and until the early morning hours of December 22. The celestial show can be seen only from the Northern Hemisphere, and NASA says that the best perspective of the meteor shower is when the Moon will set around 12:30 a.m. ET on December 22.
The Ursid meteor shower occurs after Earth passes close to the orbit of the 8P/Tuttle comet. For the current year, that close pass includes trails of debris that also follow the comet. The American Meteor Society also said the following about the meteor shower:
Activity is normally low away from maximum with rates less than 1 shower member per hour. At maximum activity this source normally adds 5-10 medium velocity meteors to the 15 or so that are normally seen each morning hour from dark sky sites.
Responsible for the discovery of the Ursids is William F. Denning, who had been observing the event since the 20th century. The first coordinated studies of the meteor shower began after Dr A. Bečvář observed in 1945 an outburst of 169 per hour.