The Ursids bring the last meteor shower of 2022

The Ursids bring the last meteor shower of 2022
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A gift from heaven comes at the holiday season – the Ursids meteor shower. This celestial event will be the last meteor shower of 2022.

Ursids typically produce only 5-10 visible meteors per hour. According to EarthSkyπŸ‡§πŸ‡· Although these rates are not as high as other years, this year’s rain will reach its peak on the night of December 21 the new moon is only 3% fullIt offers particularly excellent visibility for people in the Northern Hemisphere, where it can be seen.

At times in 1945 and 1986, the Ursids were known to pass 25 or even 100 meteors per hour. NASA doesn’t expect anything out of the ordinary this year, according to Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. .

M'nsing, Bavaria, December 14, 2020: A shooting star can be seen in the starry sky above a tree during the Geminid meteor shower.  Gemini is the strongest meteor shower of the year.  Photo: Matthias Balk/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

An expert has revealed the best way to see a meteor shower

Ursids rain started on December 13 and will be active until December 24. However, Cook suggests looking the night near the peak of the meteor shower β€” if not that night, then before or after.

β€œThey’re not too faint, but they’re not that bright. The Ursids are a good moderate meteor shower,” Cook said. “They’re certainly not Gemini or the Perseids, but hey, if you’ve got time to kill waiting for Santa, it’s probably a good thing.”

The Ursids are often overlooked because of their proximity to the Geminid shower, which peaks on December 13th and can be seen until December 24th.

“Meteor watchers historically haven’t spent much time with it because it falls so close to Christmas,” Cook said. “Meteorology grads called them ‘Cursed Ursids’ because no one wanted to get stuck observing them.”

But any meteor shower can still be an awe-inspiring spectacle. If optimal viewing conditions are enough to tempt casual viewers to brave the cold for a chance to spot the Ursids meteor, Robert Lunsford, coordinator of the American Meteor Society’s fireball report, recommends early morning viewing on Dec. 22.

β€œ(Ursids) can be very unstable. I’ve watched them in perfect conditions and never seen one, and other times I’ve seen them explode at 25 per hour,” Lunsford said. β€œYou never know what you’re going to get, but the conditions are almost perfect this year. “If you go out into the dark sky, you’ll probably see between five and 10 Ursids an hour.”

The ursids come from comet 8P/Tuttle (otherwise known as Comet Tuttle), an old comet that doesn’t produce much debris. In the sky, meteors are seen radiating from the constellation Ursid Minor, better known as the Little Bear. To distinguish these meteors from Gemini, viewers must locate the constellation and determine which meteors are coming from its direction.

“They’re visible all night because the beam is very, very north and never sets,” Lunsford said. β€œIn the evening (bright) there will only be a plume on the northern horizon, which means most of the meteors will be blocked on the horizon, so your best bet is to watch for the last few hours before dawn. ”

The further north you are, the better it looks for the event, Lunsford said. (For those in the Southern Hemisphere, the shower will not be visible because it will not rise above the bright horizon.)

Although this shower will be the last of the year, sky watchers won’t have long to wait for the peak of the Quantrantids meteor display, which will ring out a little later in the new year. On the night of January 3, 2023πŸ‡§πŸ‡·

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