A crisp wind blew off the Gulf of Mexico as photojournalist and commercial photographer Mark Wallheiser set up his camera on a tripod near the edge of the water. He unfolded his camping chair, opened a cold beer and settled in for a long evening of stargazing. Wallheiser spent last December 20 capturing long exposure shots of the Christmas Star, a bright light formed by the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, catching a shooting star from the Ursid meteor shower in one of his images.
This year, the Ursid meteor shower will take place on the morning of December 22, but it could be spotted in the sky anytime between December 17 and December 26, according to EarthSky. The Ursids are often overshadowed by the more active Geminid meteor shower earlier in the month, but it is still a sight to behold. It will be a low-key affair since the moonlight will wash out most of the shooting stars, said Bill Cooke, lead of the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office.