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Keep Your Eyes Peeled For A Shooting Star As Draconid Meteor Shower Set To Peak Tonight

Claire Reid

| Last updated 

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For A Shooting Star As Draconid Meteor Shower Set To Peak Tonight

A meteor shower is set to peak this evening, giving you your best chance of spotting a shooting star, making a wish and having all your dreams come true... or something.

The annual Draconid Meteor Shower will pass across the sky later today, is active from 6 to 11 October and will peak tonight.

The shower takes place around this time every year, as Earth passes through Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner's tail. As bits of the comet's debris hit the atmosphere, they disintegrate into bright flashes of light that streak through the sky.

You might see a shooting star tonight. Credit: NASA
You might see a shooting star tonight. Credit: NASA

In previous years, the Draconids have had thousands of meteors visible per hour - but tonight's isn't expected to be particularly spectacular.

Still, weather permitting, you may still see something.

Bill Cooke, a NASA meteor expert has said the Draconids shower can be hit and miss.

Speaking to Space.com, Cooke said: "The Draconids are one of those showers where you either see a bunch of them or none of them.


"They are rich in faint meteors if they appear. We are predicting a Draconid outburst this year; the problem is the moon will be full, which will wash out the Draconids."

If you want to boost your chances of seeing them, the best time to look is just after nightfall, which in the UK at this time of year is around 6pm.

You should also try and get away from light pollution if you can.


But don't feel too put out if you don't happen to see a shooting star tonight, because there's another meteor shower on the horizon.

The Orionid Meteor Shower is active from October through to November, with experts saying it will peak over the 21 and 22 October.

This particularly shower gives skywatchers a much better chance of seeing a shooting star.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said: "The Orionid meteor shower is one of the best known and most reliable meteor showers in the annual calendar, visible from across the globe."

Featured Image Credit: NASA

Topics: Science, uk news

Claire Reid
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