Will the Ursids bear a burst?

Contributed by
Dec 21, 2007

Spaceweather.com is reporting that the usually weak Ursid meteor shower may get a transfusion Saturday night, as the Earth passes through the debris tail of parent comet 8P/Tuttle. The peak is predicted for 21-22:00 UT December 22, which is unfortunately the afternoon for the US (though you should go out anyway when it's dark).

When you watch, face north; the meteors appear to come from near the location of Polaris in the sky. Normally there are about 10 per hour, which is pretty weak, but who knows what'll happen this time! Unfortunately again, the Moon is basically full at that time, so it'll wash out any fainter meteors once it rises. Still, if it's clear where you are (sigh, snow expected in Boulder) go out and look!

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