Ursid meteor shower 2023: Peak and best time to witness it in Arizona 

The Ursid meteor shower peaks this Christmas Eve during the Winter Solstice. Was it Dasher? Is it Prancer? This is Ursid! This year's Christmas Ursid meteor shower won't feature Santa's reindeer.

The Ursids fall on the Winter Solstice, the shortest day and longest night. NASA calls these "low-key" showers, with only a few meteors per hour depending on factors.

Despite ideal viewing conditions, the Ursids produce 5-10 meteors per hour. Earth Sky says "bursts of 100 or more meteors per hour have been observed" in rare conditions.

Still, the Ursids allow holiday stargazers to see a brilliant shooting star and make a wish! Experts recommend starting to look up at 1 a.m. local time in the Northern Hemisphere.

Discover the 2023 Ursid meteor shower's peak and viewing instructions! These years' Ursids peak after midnight on December 22 and 23. Stargazers can see this meteor shower again until Dec. 24.

As with all meteors, spotting one at night depends on several factors. Stargazers struggle to spot shooting stars due to light pollution, clouds, and fog.

Light pollution from meteor shower moonlight. True or false depends on shower night moon phase. Earthlings are unlucky because this year's Ursid peak coincides with a waxing gibbous moon.

EarthSky says 86% illumination "may interfere with the Ursids in 2023 until the moon sets about three hours before sunrise."

Comet and asteroid fragments form meteors. These objects scatter dust when they approach the sun. Every year, these particles collide with Earth's atmosphere and disintegrate, creating colorful streaks.

For casual viewers, meteor showers appear to originate from the "radiant," or star-shooting point. True source: comets. Named after the Ursids' radiant, which appears to come from Ursa Major and Minor's Big and Little Dipper.

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