Skygazers are set to glimpse the celestial fireworks Thursday night as Earth passes through a cloud of comet dust.
Dragon meteor shower, also known as giacinides, It will peak sometime during the night of October 8 and will be visible until the early morning of October 9.
Named after the Dragon constellation Draco, the Draconids blaze every year and are one of two meteor showers to light up the skies in October.
The streaks spawn from comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner, which orbits the Sun for six and a half years.
“ Most of this debris will burn about 80 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, so this is not a serious event, ” said Anna Ross, astronomer at the Royal Observatory of Greenwich.
The number of meteors seen during the night of the peak varies a lot from year to year – usually only about 5-20 meteors per hour are visible but in some years there have been reports of thousands per hour that have been spotted.
Draconids will be visible in North America, Europe, and Asia through October 10.
Ms Ross said: ‘For the best chances of discovering them, find a dark area with clear skies and leave your eyes for about 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.
“It may also be advisable to lie down because you may be looking up for a long time.”
The second meteor showers, the Orionids, will start later this month, and will peak on October 22.
When is the best time to see a Dragon Meteor Showers?
The best time to go out and see the Draconids is after the sunset in the early evening.
“While most other meteor showers are best seen in the wee hours, the Draconids are best seen in the evening, after dark,” said Royal Museums Greenwich.
Meteors will come from the direction of the Dragon Dragon, the constellation from which they took their name. Draco can be found at the highest point in the sky next to the stars Eltanin and Rastappan.
If you’re having trouble locating the constellation, there are several great mobile apps that will scan the night sky and tell you where to look. SkyView Lite is a free app available for both iOS and Android that can help you.
In truly lucky years, there may be an “explosion” of hundreds of thousands of shooting stars falling every hour from the dragon’s head – known as the dragon’s “awakening”.
In 2011, for example, star-watchers in Europe were treated to six hundred hours.
What causes dragon meteor showers?
“ Dragons are one of those pigeons where you either see a bunch of them or you don’t see any, ” said Bill Cook, a meteorite expert at NASA. Space.com.
It is the first meteor showers this month, as it is set to hit the Orionids near the end of October.
NASA explains: “ Draconid meteors occur when Earth collides with chunks of falling debris by periodic comet 21P / Giacobinid-Zener (which is why this shower was called Giacobinids).
The comet has an orbit of 6 and a half years and periodically carries it near Jupiter.
Usually, celestial dynamics expect that a planet’s strong gravitational pull will scatter anything in its vicinity into various, unexpected orbits. But they believe that a stream of particles, which ejected in 1900, is still largely intact.
So, if you could spot a meteor later this week, you would see the results of a celestial event that occurred more than a century ago.
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