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2014 Ursids meteor shower

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Ursids is a December meteor shower.

©iStockphoto.com/Maks08

The Ursids will peak on December 22 in 2014. A new Moon will make for perfect veiwing conditions this year.

The Ursids meteor shower is active annually between December 17 and December 23. The shower usually peaks around December 21. At its peak, obeservers may be able to view as many as 10 meteors in an hour.

The shower is named the Ursids because the meteors seem to radiate from the direction of the constellation Ursa Minor in the sky.

The Ursids are associated with the comet, 8P/Tuttle, also sometimes known as Mechain-Tuttle's Comet.


Where to view

The Ursids can only be observed from locations in the Northern Hemisphere.

When to view

The best time to view the Ursids between midnight (0:00) and before dusk.

How to view

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Ursids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

Location in the sky

The Ursids meteor shower is not visible at this time of year. The best date is around Dec 21, 2014, table below is for that date:
Ursids meteor shower for New York (Night between Dec 21 and Dec 22)
TimeAzimuth/
Direction
Altitude
Sun 6:00 PM352°North30.6°
Sun 7:00 PM355°North29.4°
Sun 8:00 PM359°North28.8°
Sun 9:00 PMNorth28.9°
Sun 10:00 PMNorth29.7°
Sun 11:00 PMNorth31.2°
Midnight Sun-Mon12°North-northeast33.2°
Mon 1:00 AM14°North-northeast35.8°
Mon 2:00 AM15°North-northeast38.7°
Mon 3:00 AM16°North-northeast41.7°
Mon 4:00 AM15°North-northeast44.8°
Mon 5:00 AM14°North-northeast47.7°
Mon 6:00 AM11°North50.1°
Note: times are for Dec 21, 2014.
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