December usually means cold weather, snow, and people huddled in metro stations trying to keep away from the butterfly doors. But with two meteor showers expected in Quebec's skies by the end of this month, Montrealers and people around the province will have something to help tolerate the weather a little more. Christmas trees won't be the only thing that'll light up this holiday season.
According to the Montreal Planetarium Astronomical Society, the first event is the Geminid star showers, and the night from Dec. 13 to 14 will be their peak. These meteors come from the asteroid Phaethon and should be visible near the Gemini constellation, near the star Castor.
The system is active from December 4 to December 17 and has the potential to be spectacular – the society says they're "one of the most significant of the year." You might be able to spot up to 120 shooting stars per hour.
If you don't want to dedicate multiple nights to stargazing, though, December 14 at 2 a.m. is when the showers will reach their peak.
Another shooting star display to watch out for is the Ursids meteor shower. From December 17 to December 26, the Ursids will be the last shower of the year. They take their name from the Ursa Minor constellation – better known to some as the Little Dipper – and that's the direction you should probably face to tell the universe all your wishes.
You might see around 10 shooting stars per hour, with the peak between December 21 and December 22.
Considering all that, you now have an excuse to embrace the cold with hot chocolate and your warmest blanket.
The Draconid meteor shower is expected to peak over Montreal between the night of October 8 and 9. And according to experts, the Draconids have been responsible for some of the most spectacular meteor showers in recorded history.
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Later in October there is also the Orionid meteor shower which is actually created by debris from Halley's Comet. At its peak, up to 20 shooting stars are visible every hour.
The Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak on the night between October 21 and 22.