NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This year you may see a few shooting stars on the longest night of the year. The Ursid meteor shower peaks just after the Winter Solstice, which is on December 21.
The December solstice marks the start of astronomical winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Meteorological winter starts on Dec. 1. This year, the solstice occurs on Dec. 21 at 9:59 a.m. CST.
On the solstice the sun’s most direct rays are focused on the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the entire year for countries south of the equator.
Here in the Northern Hemisphere, we experience the shortest day followed by the longest night of the entire year — perfect for the last meteor shower of 2021!
The Ursid meteor shower peaks on the night of Tuesday, Dec. 21, into the early hours of Wednesday, Dec. 22. Clear skies are expected here in Middle Tennessee, so find a dark space and dress warmly to view these meteors.
The Ursid meteor shower is a minor meteor shower, but you can still see up to 10 meteors per hour! Visibility will be good, but the light of the moon may make it difficult to see some meteors.