Skywatchers will have another shot at seeing shooting stars in 2014, thanks to the Ursid meteor shower.
The Ursid shower, which seems to originate in the constellation Ursa Minor, has been active since Wednesday and is expected to peak overnight on Monday, Dec. 22 through Tuesday, Dec. 23.
The best viewing hours for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere are between midnight and dawn local time.
— EarthSky (@earthskyscience) December 19, 2014
The Ursids won’t be quite as spectacular as the Geminid shower that came earlier this month. But the show should be worth watching, with as many as 10 to 15 meteors per hour anticipated at the shower’s peak.
No special equipment is needed to see the meteors. Just bundle up, and find a suitable location from which to watch.
“Get to a dark spot, get comfortable, bring extra blankets to stay warm, and let your eyes adjust to the dark sky,” NASA recommends. “A cozy lounge chair makes for a great seat, as does simply lying on your back on a blanket, eyes scanning the whole sky.”
The Ursid meteor shower recurs every year around the time of the winter solstice. This year the winter solstice falls on Sunday, Dec. 21.
If you can’t make it outside to catch the Ursids in person, the Slooh space camera will live-stream 2014’s last meteor shower on Monday, Dec. 22 starting at 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST. Check it out above.