The Draconid meteor shower is an annual spectacle and is one of the two meteor showers to light up our skies in October.
Unlike many meteor showers which light up the sky late at night, the best time to view the Draconids is during the early evening hours.
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The Draconids started on Tuesday night and continue to Saturday- but tonight is expected to be the peak.
The key is to start watching at nightfall – ideally from a dark, open country sky to avoid light pollution from cities and towns.
The Draconids got its name as the meteor shower emerges from the constellation of Draco the dragon.
Like other meteor showers, the Draconids are caused by Earth’s atmosphere coming into contact with debris rock and dust from a passing comet.
As the Earth passes through the comet’s tail, some of the rock and dust burns up in our atmosphere, causing a meteor shower of shooting stars.
According to Earthsky.org, the annual meteor shower happens when Earth in its orbit crosses the orbital path of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.
Debris left behind by this comet collides with the Earth’s upper atmosphere to burn up as Draconid meteors.
It’s about six times more distant at its farthest point from the sun than at its nearest point.
On rare occasions – when the peak of the shower coincides with the comet’s perihelion – this shower has been known to rain down hundreds or even thousands of meteors in an hour.
The Draconids are best viewed as far north as possible – so the likes of Scotland, Canada and parts of northern Russia are sometimes cited as the best locations. They can be seen in Northern America, Europe and Asia.
The best thing to do is to get yourself as far away from light pollution as possible.
You won’t need any specialist equipment to see the meteor shower. Even though the shower comes from a specific constellation in the sky, it should still be viewable in all parts of the sky.
Perhaps invest in a sleeping back or reclining chair so you can lie back and watch the sky comfortably. Just remember to wrap up warm.
Meteor shower, Meteoroid, Draconids, Comet
World news – GB – When and how’s the best way to see the Draconid meteor shower tonight?