STATES CHRONICLE – The Ursid meteor shower reached its peak during the night between December 21 and December 22. The month of December has unveiled many surprises when it comes to supermoon and meteor showers. A lot of stargazers were most likely thrilled about all the events which helped them reveal more about celestial objects.
Earlier this month, a lot of meteor enthusiasts were able to gather along and observe the Geminids meteor shower, which has transformed into the most reliable annual meteor showers which take place every year. Towards the end of December, there is another meteor shower which contrastively, is hardly ever noticed. This is called the Ursid meteor shower.
On the night between December 21 and December 22, the night sky will display an amazing show because the Ursid meteor shower will reach its peak. The Ursids are named like this because they seem to emerge from the vicinity of the orange star Kochab, which is part of the constellation known as Ursa Minor. Kochab represents the brighter star from the bowl of the Little Dipper.
Kochab together with Pherkad appears to march in a circle Polaris, the North Star. Apparently, the fact that this meteor shower reaches its peak is not regarded as being good news. The moon appears to be at its bright last-quarter phase, lighting up the night sky through all the predawn hours.
It is hard for stargazers to catch a glimpse of this amazing celestial event, but it’s worth the try. Nevertheless, there appears to be what specialists call “a window of darkness” which will enable people to witness the meteor shower. The moon will not represent an interference. Last night, after the end of the evening twilight and before the moon rose, people were able to see the Ursids for about seven hours when the sky was completely clear and dark, being suitable for meteor viewing.
Based on the British Astronomical Association, these hours represent a fortunate circumstance, allowing everyone to observe the meteor shower. Some observers may have neglected the Ursids because they co-occur with the winter solstice which represents freezing temperatures. Compared to the Geminids, which produced spectacular numbers of bright meteors during a single hour, the rate of the Ursids estimated about twelve bright meteors in an hour.
Image source: flickr