Starwatch: The Draconid meteor shower peaks this week


Starwatch for the week of October 5-11, 2020

Draconid meteor shower

The Draconid meteor shower peaks this week! This shower is active for a short time, Tuesday the 6th through Saturday the 10th. The peak occurs on the evening of Wednesday, October 7th. 

Meteor showers get their name from the constellation they radiate from, this one is Draco the Dragon!

But the constellation doesn’t cause the meteors, the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner does.

The best time to watch for these meteors is at nightfall or early evening. After midnight will not be a good time. One thing that makes a meteor shower good is no moonlight to washout any meteors. The good news is the moon will not rise until mid to late evening, allowing the sky to stay darker to see these shooting starts before midnight. 

To view this shower, find a spot away from city lights. Give your eyes time to adjust. Look towards the north for the radiant point to see where the shooting stars originate.

This may not be the best meteor shower, but some years the shower surprisingly produced 100s of meteors per hour! So be sure to give it a chance this week.

The Draconids aren’t the only meteor shower this month. Not only does October have two full moons, but two meteor showers as well! The Orionids Peaks around October 21st.

Thanks to EarthSky and TimeandDate.

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