Current Moon Phase

Waning Crescent
35% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

The Ursids: Nature’s Holiday Light Show

The Ursids: Nature’s Holiday Light Show

Get ready for a spectacular holiday season light show this coming Friday night, December 23, as the annual Ursid meteor shower coincides with the dark sky of a nearly new Moon in what astronomers are predicting will be a phenomenal display.

Expect dozens of meteors per hour to emerge from the constellation Ursa Minor, also known as the “Little Bear,” all night long. The constellation is easy to spot because it contains Polaris, the North Star. Though many of these will be faint, the shower does have a reputation for including some bright, colorful fireballs. Due to the relative darkness of the sky that night, viewers in prime locations should be able to see even the dimmer meteors with little trouble.

Created by dust from the tail of the comet Comet 8P/Tuttle, the Ursids are not typically one of the strongest meteor showers commonly observed. Even so, 2011 is expected to be a favorable year for the shower, in contrast to last week’s Geminid shower, which is typically a good show, but was spoiled in part by the presence of the bright waning gibbous Moon.

7 comments

1 Tracy Stewart { 12.24.11 at 6:39 am }

Between 4:30 am and 5:30 AM I saw about 5 small swift streaks…It was perfectly clearWorth waking up for..:) Cocoa Beach, FL

2 toni hall { 12.23.11 at 8:41 pm }

I want to see this. I’ll be looking every 5 mins. til it gets to cold. I’m in Calif. & it’s gona be in the 20′s. It’ll be worth it tho.

3 Nikki { 12.23.11 at 7:53 pm }

I m so bummed out, I live in southern Indiana across from Louisville KY and its cloudy…i had been looking forward to this !! oh well maybe next time

4 clara fletcher { 12.23.11 at 5:02 pm }

will i be able to see the comets in newportnews va tonight

5 Tina { 12.23.11 at 12:40 pm }

What time will the show begin in the NE skys?

6 Bob Kirsch { 12.23.11 at 10:55 am }

Can I see it from Cleveland, Ohio? If so, which direction?

Thank you.

7 Joyce Mitchell { 12.23.11 at 9:55 am }

I hope this can be seen well in West TN. We would enjoy seeing this even tho people will be busy with the Christmas hustle and bustle.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.