The last meteor shower of 2020 will be ready to enjoy skygazers

Skygazers can look forward to the final show of shooting stars this year as Earth goes through a cloud of silver dust.

Ursid’s meteor shower is expected to go up some time on the night of December 21 and will be visible until the early morning of December 22nd.

This celestial display is associated with the 8P / Tuttle comet, also known as Comet Tuttle, which orbits the sun once every 13 years.

The shooting stars appear to be shooting from near Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab) in the constellation Ursa Minor.

Ursid meteor showers are usually scarce, emitting around five meteors per hour at maximum.

The peak occurs at the first moon in the first quarter, so weather permitting, hunting stars will still be visible in the night sky.

According to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, the showerhead also occurs around the time of the winter solstice, when there are long hours of darkness for stars.

Meteor shower
The meteors are visible to the naked eye (Danny Lawson / PA)

The meteors, mostly no more than a grain of sand, burn up when they hit the atmosphere at 36 miles per second to produce a stream of light in the sky.

Maximum temperatures can reach anywhere from 1,648-5,537C as they cross the sky.

The best way to see the burning stars is to get away from the artificial lights and allow at least 45 minutes for the eyes to adjust to the darkness.

The meteors become visible to the naked eye.

SCIENCE Consortium
(PA Graphics)

The celestial display will also coincide with a rare planetary correlation as Jupiter and Saturn appear just 0.1 degrees apart – roughly equal to one-fifth of the lunar diameter.

This connection – where objects appear very close to each other in the skies – is the closest the two planets have appeared together since 1623.

The two gas giants appear to the naked eye as one bright object in the night sky, known to some as the “Christmas star”.

The best time to see the connection is between 4.30pm and 6pm UK time.