Not only do the skies over the Utica and Rome areas of Central New York get to enjoy the "Christmas Star" this year, we will be able to enjoy the Ursid meteor shower.

According to EarthSky.org, this small meteor shower can really be seen only from the Northern Hemisphere with between five and 10 meteors streaking across the sky per hour. The best time to view is early morning hours on December 22nd.

The Ursids peak on the evening of December 21, leading into the early morning hours of December 22. The moon will be 50% full. That, combined with the often cloudy winter nights of December, could obscure your view of this little shower."

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According to NASA, if you want the best perspective of the shower, wait for the moon to set around 12:30AM on December 22nd. The meteor shower originates from the Ursa Minor constellation, known as the Little Dipper, but the meteors will be visible streaking across the entire sky.

If you look from a Northern Hemisphere location around the time of the solstice, you’ll find the Big Dipper and the star Kochab well up in the north-northeast at around 1:00 a.m your local time. That’s about the time of night you’ll want to start watching this meteor shower.

 

Don't look straight up at the sky. Aim for about halfway up in the sky, according to the American Meteor Society. The Geminid meteor shower is also ongoing through Sunday.

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