- nemesis maturity Published on Dec 17, 2018
The Ursid meteor shower will peak in the early morning on Dec. 22, 2018, providing a shooting star show to skywatchers up before sunrise. The Ursids, radiating from Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper. Meteors will appear to be streaming out from the radiant, but they can show up all across the sky. In 2018, the peak of the Ursid shower on the morning of December 22 has to contend with harsh glare of the first December solstice full moon since 2010. The best time to view the Ursids will be the predawn hours, when the full moon is not obtruding on the show. They may be active on December 23rd and 24th too. Generally, the Ursids are a low-key affair, offering perhaps as many as 5-10 meteors per hour in a dark sky. In rare instances, bursts of 100 or more meteors per hour have been observed at times over the past century. The Ursids are associated with comet 8P/Tuttle, which was discovered in 1790 and then re-discovered by Horace Tuttle in 1858. The Ursids occur when Earth passes through the trail of dust and debris left along the comet’s orbit.
The shower itself was first recorded in England in 1900, and also spotted in Germany in the decades following. You need only clear dark skies and just your eyes to see meteor showers.