Ursids Meteor Shower 2018
The annual Ursids meteor shower, produced by debris dropped by periodic comet 8P/Tuttle, will peak during the early hours of Saturday, December 22, when seeing up to 20 meteors per hour is possible, under dark skies. The best time to watch will be from midnight to dawn. Unfortunately, a full moon on the peak night will spoil the show for Ursids meteor watchers in 2018. True Ursids will appear to radiate from a position in the sky above Ursa Minor (the Little Dipper) near the star Polaris, but the meteors can appear anywhere during the time between dusk on Friday and dawn on Saturday.
To see the most meteors, find a wide-open dark location, preferably away from light polluted skies, and just look up with your unaided eyes. Try to put the full moon behind a tree or a building. Binoculars and telescopes are not useful for meteors – their field of view are too narrow. Try not to look at your phone’s bright screen – it’ll ruin your night vision. And keep your eyes heavenward, even while you are chatting with companions. If the peak night is cloudy, a night or two on either side of that date will be almost as good.
Happy hunting and clear skies!