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Ursid meteor shower to reach its peak on December 23

Ursid meteor shower to reach its peak on December 23 Meteor shower (

The Ursids, a minor annual meteor shower, happen around the winter solstice and is set to reach its peak on December 23, according to The Indian Express.

It happens as Earth traverses the remnants of comet 8P/Tuttle.

While not as dazzling as the earlier Geminids that illuminated the sky this month, the Ursids still provide an opportunity to witness shooting stars. Under optimal conditions, the Ursids generate about 5 to 10 meteors per hour during their peak.

The meteors will originate from the constellation Ursa Minor, also known as the Little Bear or the Little Dipper. This constellation is circumpolar and remains visible throughout the night in the northern hemisphere.

The best time to view the meteors is in the early hours of December 22 and 23, just before sunrise. To observe the Ursids, locate a dark and unobstructed area away from city lights. No special equipment is necessary to enjoy the Ursids.

Winter Solstice 2023

The Winter Solstice on Dec. 21/22 marks the astronomical beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, characterized by the shortest day and longest night of the year. This astronomical phenomenon arises from the Earth's tilt away from the Sun, resulting in diminished sunlight as the Sun traces a shorter path across the sky. The alignment of the Moon and Jupiter during this period provides a unique and visually striking occurrence for astronomy enthusiasts and skygazers alike.

This date aligns with the peak of the annual Ursid meteor shower, adding to the astronomical excitement.