The Ursids are a minor meteor shower, with about 5-10 meteors visible per hour, which is just a slight bump above normal background amounts. This is a meteor shower for diehards only, especially with chlily winter temperatures for observers in much of the Northern Hemisphere!!

Their radiant, or point of origin in the sky, is from Ursa Minor (which you may know as the Little Dipper), but meteors will appear through the entire sky. This year they will be most visible after midnight between December 21-22 . Your best bet to catch an Ursid is to wait until after the Moon sets, around 12:30 am on December 22. 

Dark skies (in area away from light pollution) are good for catching these precious few Ursids! 

It is winter so bundle up if you want to watch for meteors, as it is getting late in the year! Get to a dark spot, get comfortable, bring extra blankets to stay warm, and let your eyes adjust to the dark sky. A cozy lounge chair makes for a great seat, as does simply lying on your back on a blanket, eyes scanning the whole sky.  

Find out more Ursids observing tips courtesy EarthSky. The Night Sky Network has a handout that you may find useful for your meteor watching party: Heads Up: It's a Meteor Shower Handout!

Image of the radiant of the Ursids
mage of the radiant of the Ursids, courtesy EarthSky

Date: Tuesday, 12/22/2020