This weekend, Ukrainians will be able to see the meteor shower Draconids

James Marshall
October 10, 2018

One benefit of bidding farewell to summer and seeing the sun set earlier is the succession of spectacular winter meteor showers that will keep budding astronomers entertained.

The next meteor shower is the Orionids, peaking the night of October 21.

Special equipment is not needed to see a Draconid meteor shower - you should be able to see it with the naked eye.

The meteor show is one of two showers be seen in the skies in October - the second meteor shower (the Orionids) in October usually peaks around October 21. A few hundred "Draconids" per hour were observed in 1998.

The comet associated with the Draconids is the snappily named 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, and though its debris can be no bigger than a grain of sand, there will still be the impressive, relatively slow-moving meteors passing across the sky.

"European observers saw over 600 meteors per hour in 2011". As the Earth passes through Comet G-Z's orbit shortly after the comet has gone by, just as it happened in 1933 and 1946, those that looked at the sky were dazzled by the celestial display. Previous outbursts have occurred in years where that debris trail was fresh.

The meteors slam into the planet's atmosphere at full speed, producing bright flashes of light and meteor streaks across the sky.

The best time interval is between 4 - 5 am on October 9 (Kyiv time). This event has gotten its name as a result of its meteor appearing to originate from the Draco, the Dragon constellation. If you can't find it, don't worry: The meteors can appear anywhere.

The Draconid shower is odd in that the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls, meaning that more Draconids are probably going to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight.

As Earth passes through the comet's tail, the debris from the meteor burns up - causing shooting stars.

At the same time, before you can see the meteor shower, it is better to give your eyes time to adapt: do not look at the light for at least 20 minutes.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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