Hot on the heels of the best meteor shower of 2017, the Ursid Meteor Shower peaks the night of December 21 into the morning of December 22.
"We call the Ursids the cursed Ursids because they occur so close to Christmas and no one wants to observe them," laughs Bill Cooke, who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office. The Ursids pale in comparison to the year's big ones, like the Geminid and the Perseids.
"This year we're expecting an Ursid outburst. Normally, the Ursids have a rate of around 10 per hour," Cooke says. "But this year, the Ursids may jump up to 40 or 50 per hour. We expect on December 22 to encounter a stream of material ejected from [Comet 8P/Tuttle] over a thousand years ago."
At a rate of 10 per hour, the Ursids aren't usually anything to write home about, but an outburst will make it worth viewing if you can brave the dropping temperatures across the US.