As 2013 draws to a close, skywatchers will have one more chance to see some spectacular shooting stars -- and it's all thanks to this weekend's Ursid meteor shower. What a holiday treat!
The Ursid meteor shower falls each year near the winter solstice -- the shortest day of the year for those in the Northern Hemisphere. This year's winter solstice occurs on Saturday, Dec. 21.
This last meteor shower of 2013 should be visible for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. It's expected to peak Saturday night.
While the Ursids may be visible Friday night through early next week, viewers will have the best chance of seeing the meteor shower after the moon sets in the early morning on Dec. 22, when the sky is still dark, EarthSky reported. The U.S. Naval Observatory lists moonset times for locations around the world.
Unlike the Geminid meteor shower, which treated skywatchers to about 120 meteors per hour earlier this month, the Ursids streak across the sky at a rate of only about 10 meteors per hour. Under the bright moon, fewer meteors may be visible each hour.
Fortunately, the Slooh Space Camera will offer a live broadcast (with commentary) of this last meteor shower of 2013. Set to begin tomorrow night, the livesteam will feature real-time images from an all-sky camera.
Watch Slooh's live stream of the Ursid meteor shower in the video above.