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Ursids Star Shower 2022: Guide to See the Last Shower of the Year

The meteor shower period of the year is about to come to an end with the Ursids 2022 meteor shower.

The meteor shower period has been a cycle that has given us incredible views that could be captured through astrophotography but also taught us to reconnect with the beauty of the cosmos and the infinite Universe. Now it’s time for the last star shower of the year called Ursids, and if you want to embark on a meteor hunting trip, here we leave you the exact date, as well as all the necessary details for you to enjoy this astronomical spectacle to the fullest.

Ursids meteor shower 2022

This is a discreet shower that is not especially one of the most abundant of the year, so if you want to admire it, you should look for optimal conditions to enjoy it. It runs annually from December 17 to December 25 of the same month, but like all other meteor showers, the Ursids have a day of greatest activity when its radiant is positioned precisely at the zenith of the celestial vault.

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The Ursids take their name from the constellation Ursa Minoris or Ursa Minor, which is precisely the radiant of this meteor shower. It is called radiant because it is the place from where the meteors seem to disperse to the whole sky.

They have a zenithal horary of 10 meteors per hour, which is the average number of shooting stars that can be admired in optimal conditions of darkness and weather.

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The comet responsible for the Ursid meteor shower is 109P/Swift-Tuttle which was discovered in 1862 by Lewis Swift and later rediscovered by Horace Parnell Tuttle in 1862. When the Earth passes close to the dust left behind by the comet, the incandescent interaction between the grains of cosmic material and our atmosphere occurs, resulting in a beautiful shower of stars.

How to see the Ursids star shower 2022

The Ursids can be seen from December 17 to December 25, however, there is a night when they present the greatest activity because its radiant is placed the highest in the sky and allows us to see as many meteors as possible. During 2022 the peak of the shower will be on the night of December 22 and the early morning of December 23, when the Moon will be waning so it will not impede admiring the stars.

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But even so, you should look for a place away from the light pollution of big cities and find a place with darkness that allows you to look at the sky without obstacles. The best time to look at the Ursids is shortly before dawn when the constellation Ursa Minor is positioned as high as possible in the sky. It is not necessary to locate the parent constellation, although if you wish to do so you can look to the north where you will find the Little Bear next to Drago, help yourself with the image below.

Make yourself comfortable and remember that during the meteor showers the sky is the protagonist so the neck ends up suffering the consequences, so it would be best to think about lying down to have a better panoramic view of the sky.

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Story originally published in Spanish in Ecoosfera

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