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Draconid meteor shower to light up the sky tonight

Joe Harker

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| Last updated 

Draconid meteor shower to light up the sky tonight

If you look up into the sky tonight you could be treated to the wonderful sight of the annual Draconid meteor shower.

Visible around the world this year between 6 and 10 October, the meteor shower peaked yesterday but there's still more to be seen if you look up at the night's sky in a north-westerly direction tonight.

What you get to see can be a bit hit-and-miss depending on a number of other factors and with a full moon out tonight it could be trickier than usual to treat your eyes to the sight of a meteor shower.

The bright moonlight will make tonight's sky less dark, making it harder to pick out the meteors.

Some years the Draconid meteor shower can have hundreds or even thousands of visible meteors each hour depending on your location.

This year you could see up to 10 meteors per hour if you set yourself up for viewing at the right time, and just after nightfall is tipped as the best time to set up if you want to see something.

One of the Draconids pictured in the skies above Yorkshire during 2020's meteor shower. Credit: Adam Vaughan / Alamy Stock Photo
One of the Draconids pictured in the skies above Yorkshire during 2020's meteor shower. Credit: Adam Vaughan / Alamy Stock Photo

Meteor showers are caused when the Earth passes through a cloud of comet debris, with the Draconid meteor shower coming from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner which orbits the sun.

Meteors are caused by these chunks of debris entering the Earth's atmosphere at great speed, what we see is them burning up as they head towards us.

Visible to the naked eye, there will still need to be some preparation if you want to see the meteor shower for yourself.

Your best bet for watching the shower is to get somewhere dark where you can lie back and look up at the night sky.

It's bad news for people living in cities as you'll want to be somewhere away from all the light pollution that might block your view.

Getting to your preferred spot early is also important as it'll take your eyes a bit of time to adjust to the darkness and some of the meteors are very faint.

The comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, where the Draconid meteor shower originates from. Credit: Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
The comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, where the Draconid meteor shower originates from. Credit: Stocktrek Images, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

Depending how much stock you put in the words of people on TikTok claiming to be time travellers from the far future, you might not want to try and have a look at the meteor shower.

Someone claiming to be from the year 2236 has said this year's Draconids will result in a 'deadly' meteor shower over Europe on 12 October and kill lots of people.

Then again, they also said humanity would make first contact with an alien species called the Azarx on 7 July, and as far as we can tell that didn't happen.

Also, this year's Draconids are supposed to come to an end after 10 October, so a deadly meteor of them hitting Europe two days later sounds unlikely.

Featured Image Credit: Adam Vaughan / PA Images / Alamy

Topics: News, World News, Space, Science

Joe Harker
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