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RE: Ursids meteor shower
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URSIDSe1


-- Edited by Blobrana at 08:41, 2007-12-23

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The Ursid meteor shower, named after Ursa Minor (The Little Dipper, the constellation containing Polaris, or the North Star), is being predicted to show up at its peak around 4 to 5 p.m. EST (2100 to 2200 Greenwich Mean Time, GMT).
However, sky-gazers may also see some signs of the meteor shower up to four hours before and after that one-hour range

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The Ursids Meteor Shower December 17 26, 2007
Peak Time  US: 12pm 2pm (Pacific Time) on Dec. 22, 2007
Northern Europe: 8pm 10pm (London) on Dec. 22, 2007
Northern Asia: 5am 7am (Tokyo) on Dec. 23, 2007



 "We could be in for a Merry surprise on Dec. 22nd when Earth passes through a trail of comet dust" -  astronomer Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute.

Previous returns of Comet Tuttle to the inner solar system have been attended by outbursts of meteors, most recently in 1980 and 1994.
During those flurries, dozens of meteors per hour streamed from the constellation Ursa Minor--hence the name of the shower, "the Ursids."

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Ursids Radiant.kmz
Google Sky file (2kb, kmz)



-- Edited by Blobrana on Tuesday 22nd of December 2009 01:24:01 AM

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The often-neglected Ursid meteor shower peaks on December 22/23, under excellent viewing conditions this year; look to the north after sunset, especially good after midnight, and until dawn.
The faint, medium-speed (33 km/s) meteors seem to emanate from Ursa Minor (the "Little Bear"  or  "Little Dipper" ).

ursids-2007-12-22-23h30m
Expand (16kb, 792 x 554)

This meteor shower is active during the period spanning December 17 to 25. At maximum, normal rates can normally reach 10 per hour. This meteor shower is named for its radiant point which is located near the star Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab). The average radiant is at RA= 217° (14h28m), Dec= +76°. The circumpolar radiant is nicely observable from Britain.
As there is no Moon this year, the peak is predicted for the early evening hours. The faintest Ursids will not be lost in the moons glare.

The Ursid parent comet, 8P/Tuttle, reaches perihelion next in January 2008; But this will not enhance the rates. The normal Ursid peak is due between 1h 3h30m UT on December 22.
According to the Society for Popular Astronomy, Finnish meteor investigators Esko Lyytinen and Markku Nissinen have predicted that the normal maximum may be stronger this year, due to a dust trail laid down by the shower's parent comet in 996 AD (75 cometary revolutions ago). The researchers predict a ZHRs which may reach 35 or more. Their peak timing calculation is for 19:27 UT on December 22, but parts of the dust trail could be encountered at any stage from ~18:00-21:00 UT, starting an hour before the usual maximum interval.
They urge all observers to watch for as long as possible to see what transpires. But, if your sky is clear, you should still give it a go as observations of this shower are scarce.

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