Ursid meteors are flying
Eliot Herman in Tucson caught this fireball, or exceptionally bright meteor – likely part of the ongoing Ursid shower – on December 18, 2016. Why do we think it’s an Ursid? The radiant point of this shower is in the constellation Ursa Minor, the Lesser Bear, whose brightest star is Polaris, the North Star. And this meteor came from that part of the sky. Eliot said he caught this meteor “well before moonrise” and wrote:
Caught it emerging just above Polaris at 9:17 p.m. Saturday night. This is far and away the best Ursid I have captured. Mostly, the meteors are little and not especially bright.
He said his strategy for capturing more Ursid meteors over the coming nights involves:
… a simple fixed camera on an interval timer, just aimed at Polaris.
Bottom line: Photo of bright Ursid meteor. The shower always happens around the December solstice. Peak morning in 2016 likely to be Thursday, December 22.