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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 every late December 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.


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.

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