The famous Comet Halley spawns the Eta Aquariids – going on now – and the Orionids in October. Plus where the comet is now, parent bodies of other meteor showers … and Isaac Newton’s Vis-viva equation, his poetic rendition of instantaneous motion.
Everyone loves a good meteor shower, but what about an artificial one? A Japanese company plans to create one and has just launched hundreds of pellets to space. They’ll ultimately rain down again in colorful displays.
The Ursid meteor shower peaks around the December solstice, which, in 2018, features a full moon. Start watching for the meteors now, from the wee hours to dawn, radiating from near the northern sky’s Little Dipper.
The shower is best around 2 a.m., but watch from late evening until dawn. The best morning is likely December 14. Mornings leading up to it might also offer some meteors as well, in the rich and reliable Geminid shower.