This article was posted by CrystalWind.ca

A+ A A-

Ursid Meteor Shower - The Winter Solstice 2020

Ursid Meteor Shower - The Winter Solstice 2020

The Ursids meteor shower is active annually between December 17 and December 26.

The annual Ursid meteor shower runs from about December 17 to 26 each year and always peaks around the December solstice, which, in 2020, comes on December 21. The shower’s peak is probably the morning of December 22, but any of the next few mornings should yield some Ursids as well. The shower usually peaks around December 23. At its peak, observers may be able to view as many as 10 meteors in an hour. Then, after the solstice and the shower’s peak, keep watching. You still might catch some!

The Ursids produce a handful of meteors or shooting stars every hour, usually in the range of five to 10 per hour. A nearly moonless sky means good viewing, despite the low.  

In 2020, at this shower’s peak, the first quarter moon will set in the evening, providing dark skies at late night and the morning hours.

In some past years, the meteors have been more spectacular — in 1945 and 1986, for instance, 50 per hour were observed — but experts say that such events are rare. 

The Ursids have a sharp peak on the morning of Dec. 22, meaning that observers will see many more meteors on that day than on days before or after. Look at the sky in the morning on the 22nd, after midnight and as late as possible before sunrise. The meteor-shower radiant, which the meteors will appear to be flying away from, is near the bowl of the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor, near the celestial North Pole), and the radiant will climb higher in the sky in the pre-dawn hours.

Meteors will appear to be streaming out from the radiant, but they can show up all across the sky. Look a little bit away from the radiant, but not too far, to make sure that you catch sight of meteors with longer tails. That said, the Ursids are not known for leaving spectacular tails in the sky.

All meteors in annual showers have radiant points on our sky’s dome, and the showers often take their names from the constellations in which the radiant points lie. The Ursids radiate from Ursa Minor, which contains the Little Dipper asterism. If you trace the paths of the rather slow-moving Ursid meteors backward, they appear to come from the section of sky marked by the Little Dipper star Kochab.

The chart below shows the Big and Little Dippers around 1 a.m. when the Big Dipper is well up in the north-northeast.

big dip ursid

Although the Little Dipper is circumpolar (out all night) at northerly latitudes, the star Kochab sits below Polaris, the North Star, at nightfall. Kochab (and all the Little Dipper stars) circle Polaris in a counterclockwise direction throughout the night, with this star reaching its high point for the night in the hours before dawn. The higher the radiant climbs in your sky, the more meteors that you’re likely to see.

This shower has been known to produce short bursts of over 100 meteors per hour. But typically the shower is much more low key than that. It might produce five meteors per hour at its peak. 

Fortunately, the moon is now in waning phase. By the time of the Ursids’ peak on the morning of December 22 or 23, the moon will exhibit a fairly thin waning crescent, and shouldn’t too greatly intrude on what’s usually a low-key spattering of Ursid meteors.

By the way, some meteor showers, like the Perseids in August, have been watched each year at the same time for many centuries. But the Ursid meteor shower has been observed for only a single century. It was first observed around the turn of the 20th century, when a skywatcher noticed that some meteors seen around this time of year weren’t random in their direction of motion across our sky’s dome but instead appeared to radiate from near the star Kochab in the bowl of the Little Dipper asterism.

Bottom line: If you want to watch the Ursids, find a country location where you can camp out. Dress warmly! And plan to spend several hours reclining under a dark sky. The predawn hours are usually the most favorable.


CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
Please support us with a small gift of $11.11 or $22.22 or $33.33. 

or
Please buy us a coffee!
Thank you!
ॐ Namasté - Blessings!
"Life is an echo, what you send out comes back."
© 2008-2021 crystalwind.ca. All rights reserved.
Pin It

Free Reading Here!!

crystal-wind-oracle-mobile-app
 
Cut Through The Illusions!
Available On The
Apple  / Android / Amazon
NEW Expanded Version - 53 cards!

Who is Online Now

We have 1644 guests and no members online

Featured This Month

Page:

Rose Quartz

Rose Quartz

The Self Love Stone Rose quartz is an effective stone for reducing all aggr... Read more

Sun in Taurus

Sun in Taurus

Sun in Taurus April 21 through May 21 An Overview of Sun Sign Characteristi... Read more

The Time of No Time: Beltane!

The Time of No Time: Beltane!

Around the medicine wheel of life we go, from season to season (solstice to ... Read more

Emerald

Emerald

The Heart And Love Stone Emerald brings soothing harmony to ... Read more

Taurus

Taurus

TAURUS April 20 - May 20 Spirit: Conservation, methodical, to enjoy comfor... Read more

Taurus Mythology

Taurus Mythology

The Taurus Myth The Taurus myth is most often interpreted as the story of Z... Read more

Kunzite

Kunzite

The Love Commitment Stone Kunzite has a pronounced calming effect on the he... Read more

Birth Totem - Beaver

Birth Totem - Beaver

Birth Totem Beaver Birth dates: April 20 - May 20 Birth Totem is: Beaver ... Read more

Litha Sabbat - The Summer Solstice

Litha Sabbat - The Summer Solstice

Gardens are blooming, and summer is in full swing. Fire up the barbeque, turn ... Read more

Frogs Return Moon

Frogs Return Moon

Beaver – Chrysocolla - Blue Camas – Blue April 20 – May 20 The Frogs Retur... Read more

The Willow Tree - April 15th - May 12th

The Willow Tree - April 15th - May 12th

The Fire Festival Of Beltane Celtic Symbol : The Sea Serpent Zodiac Degree... Read more

Jade

Jade

The Heart Path Stone Jade has an overall balancing effect on the heart. It ... Read more

Rhodonite

Rhodonite

The Hate Remedy Stone Rhodonite symbolizes self-realization. It is known as... Read more

Beltane

Beltane

Beltane Ritual Celebrated May 1st Beltane is also known as May Day, Walpurg... Read more

Bright Beltane Blessings!

Bright Beltane Blessings!

The wheel turns to Beltane, also known as Mayday, marking the beginning of S... Read more

© 2008-2021 CrystalWind.ca. Site Creation by CreativeInceptions.com.
X

Right Click

No right click