How to Observe the Ursids Meteor Shower

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How to Observe the Ursids Meteor Shower
12.19.07
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The Ursids Meteor Shower
December 17 – 26, 2007

Peak Time (Estimated)
USA: 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

(Animation of meteors above the Earth)
A meteor shower occurs when small pieces of comet dust collide with the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Ursids get their name because the meteors appear to originate in the constellation Ursa Minor, the Little Bear.

(Video of meteors captured during various airborne observation campaigns)
Video taken with an image-intensified camera during the 2007 Perseids (so named because the meteors appear to be originating the in the constellation Perseus the Hunter) and the Kappa Cygnids, named for Cygnus the Swan.

Video taken with an image-intensified camera during an airborne campaign to view the Leonids (Leo the Lion).

(Graphic explaining how and where to view the Ursids)
To view the Ursids, dress warmly and find a dark area with a clear view of the sky. Use a tree or pole to block the light from the full moon.

Look to the North. The Ursids will appear to be coming from the area around the Little Dipper. Estimates call for approximately 40 – 70 meteors per hour.
For more information, please visit http://ursids.seti.org

Produced by the NASA Ames Video Production Group, Moffett Field, Calif.

And that's This Week At NASA!

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