Here’s how you can watch the Draconid meteor shower, which is peaking tonight.
When you’re sat outside having your pint tonight, or dancing out of the club in the early hours, make sure to look upwards. The Draconid meteor shower can be viewed from tonight through to October 10 and is best seen in the evening.
The shower occurs in the Northern hemisphere and takes place when the Earth travels through debris of comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner.
It is a less active meteor shower, and in the past few years, hardly any outbursts in activity have occurred as a result of the Draconids, Royal Museums Greenwich reports.
The point at which the Earth meets a certain part of the comet’s trail is what impacts the rate of such meteors during the peak of the shower.
The most active peak meteor showers of the 20th century have so far taken place in 1933 and 1946.
Most years, Draconids only create five meteors per hour and so the type of shower is subsequently known as a ‘sleeper’, Earth Sky reports. However, make sure to keep your eyes peeled, as on the odd occasion, they have been known to make hundreds of meteors in just one hour.
In 2011, more than 600 meteors were seen in an hour by European observers of the Giacobinids (the name for the October Draconid meteor shower).
The shower is named after Draco the Dragon, which is the head of the constellation and the most radiant point of the shower. Draco is located near other stars called Eltanin and Rastaban.
If you’re hoping to get out and spot a shower, then the best time is after nightfall. You’ll probably get a clearer view if you’re located in a more rural area with less buildings obstructing your view or light pollution.
Ditch the telescope as well, for as long as you don’t have any direct light sources shining towards your eyes you’ll be able to see even the fainter of meteors and a much wider view than if you used any lens.
The shower is predicted to produce the most meteors this evening, October 8, so stop staring at your phone screen and go take a look at the sky.
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Royal Museums Greenwich
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