Universe Guide

Ursids Meteor Shower

When and where does the Ursids Meteor Shower Occur

The Ursids  meteor shower takes place within the boundaries constellation of Ursa Minor. The meteor shower occurs between December 17-25 with the peak occurring on the Dec. 22 every year.

The Solar Longitude (Abbrev: S.L., λ ☉) is 271 degrees, this value is the the date of maximum activity. It is measured as a degree with zero degree indicating spring equinox (roughly March 21st/22nd). 90 is the Summer Solstice, 180 is the Autumn Equinox and 270 is the Winter Solstice. This degree is independent of the calender. AMS .

The source of the meteor shower is Comet 8P/Tuttle. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (219.9) and the Declination (75.4).

Zenith Hourly Rate

The Zenith Hourly Rate or how many you expect to see during the hour is 10. The ZHR can radically increase if the comet or associated object is close by. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 33 km/s. The population index of the meteor shower is 3. The population index refers to the magnitude distribution of the meteorites, the smaller the index, the brighter the meteors are, the higher, the dimmer the meteors are. For this particular meteor shower, bright meteors are more frequent.

The Ursids radiate out from the Ursa Minor constellation rather than the larger Ursa Major, both the bear constellations. The radiant point is near the Kochab, also known as Beta Ursae Star. The associated comet is believed to be 8P/Tuttle which is due back in 2021 but shouldn't hold out too much hope for a spectacular event as the last one wasn't as expected.

How to Find and View the Ursids

Northern Hemisphere

The Ursa Minor constellation is the northern most constellation, it is equivalent to the Octans in the southern hemisphere. Only those in the north will be able to see this meteor shower. Anywhere south of Miami will have a hard time seeing them.

Recent and Forthcoming Meteor Showers :-

Ursids Meteor Shower Facts

ConstellationUrsa Minor
Associated Comet8P/Tuttle
Closest Star to Radiant PointKochab
Peak Activity DateDec. 22
Population Index3
Activity PeriodDecember 17-25
Right Ascension219.9
Solar Longitude / λ ☉271 °
Zenith Hourly Rate10
Semi-Major Axis4.8700

Location of the Radiant Point for the Ursids Meteor Shower

Map showing the location of where the Ursids radiate from within Ursa Minor

The image showing the location of Ursids was generated using the free application Night Vision.

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