Meteor shower to peak early Saturday

Dec. 21, 2012 at 3:34 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- An annual December meteor show known as the Ursid shower will reach its peak in the early morning hours Saturday, astronomers say.

The shower, which usually coincides with the winter solstice, is named the Ursids because it appears to fan out from the vicinity of a star in the constellation of Ursa Minor.

The Ursid shower is less well-known than the Geminid shower, also in December, a much more prolific and reliable event. The Geminids can produce up to 120 meteors per hour while the Ursids produce about a dozen or so per hour at the peak, SPACE.com reported.

The Ursids are debris from the periodic comet Tuttle 8P/Tuttle, which circles the sun in a 13.6-year orbit.

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