The Ursids is a minor meteor shower producing about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tuttle, which was first discovered in 1790. The shower runs annually from December 17-25. It peaks this year on the the night of the 21st and morning of the 22nd. This year we have great viewing on account of the waning crescent moon. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
This marks the beginning of winter (in the northern hemisphere) and the beginning of summer (in the southern hemisphere.) The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year, respectively, in the sense that the length of time elapsed between sunrise and sunset on this day is a minimum for the year. Of course, daylight saving time means that the first Sunday in April has 23 hours and the last Sunday in October has 25 hours, but these human meddlings with the calendar and do not correspond to the actual number of daylight hours.
If you life in the southern hemisphere, this is your Summer Solstice, celebrating the longest day of the year.
Our meetings on the second Sunday of the Month, The events are normally held evening at 7:00 pm in Research Hall Room 163 on the campus of George Mason University.
Our meetings web page, has directions and additional details.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday evenings!