The Draconid meteor shower reaches its peak on Wednesday evening so it’s worth taking a look skyward to see if you can spot a shooting star.

Here’s everything you need to know about how, when and where to watch the Draconid meteor shower.

The meteor shower is expected to reach its peak on Wednesday night, though it is taking place between 6 and 10 October.

While Wednesday is set to be the main event, people may still have a chance of seeing a shooting star on Thursday evening as well.

There are expected to be around five meteors shooting across the sky every hour on Wednesday night.

Early evening just after nightfall is thought to be the best time to catch a glimpse of the shooting stars, and for a few hours after that, according to EarthSky.

The meteor shower should be visible from the UK and in other parts of the northern hemisphere.

The American Meteor Society advises trying to catch a glimpse in rural areas rather than in cities.

“These meteors are often faint so it would help to observe from rural areas where interfering lights are less of a problem. The more stars you can see, the more meteors you will witness,” according to Robert Lunsford of the ANS.

“You do not need to look in any particular direction. Lean back, let your eyes adjust to the dark, and watch the whole sky (it helps to have friends look in different directions),” a spokesperson said.

The Draconids are named after a constellation named Draco the Dragon, which is where they are thought to come from.

The meteors are caused when Earth passes through debris from the comet 215/Giacobini-Zinner, which heats as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere at speed, before disintegrating.

They resemble a bright flash of light streaking across the sky when seen by the naked eye, though this year’s display is not expected to be the most impressive one there has been.

While this time round there should be a handful of shooting stars per hour, in past years there have been many more.

In 2011 hundreds of meteors were seen as part of this display, while decades earlier in the 1930s and 1940s thousands of shooting stars could be seen.

But if you miss the Draconid meteor shower this month then don’t despair as there will be the chance to see the Orionid meteor shower too.

Though Wednesday started off quite sunny for many parts of the UK, the Met Office said there will be showers across parts of northern and western Scotland as the day goes on.

The southwest of the UK will also see cloud and rain as the day continues, which may prove problematic in terms of seeing the shooting stars.

There is also expected to be heavy rain and strong winds across many parts of the country this evening and overnight – but hopefully it will clear enough to show some of the shooting stars on display.


Meteor shower, Draconids, Meteoroid, Star

World news – GB – How and when to watch the Draconid meteor shower in the UK, and what to look out for

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