(Mirror Daily, United States) – You’re more likely to be dazed by the Draconid meteor shower in the early evening than later at night, as is the case of most meteor showers. All week long, sky watchers have the chance to see some of the meteors spewing from the mouth of a dragon.
Even though the constellation Draco seems to be the source of the Draconids, they are actually remnants of debris left behind by Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, the very comet that takes 6.5 years to go once around the sun.
The peaking of the annual Draconid is happening during the following nights, and stargazers have the opportunity to be amazed by a very different celestial spectacle. The best thing about it is that you don’t need any device to catch the Draconid meteor showers; your naked eye will do it.
If you’re looking for advice on the best stargazing position, look no further than a chair or a blanket. All you have to do is look up and see Draco and the Little Dipper. Of course, the same recommendation that goes for all meteor showers applies here as well: try to get as far as you can from the city lights so you can have an unhindered view of the dark, open sky.
At the same time, avoid looking at the screen of your phone – or at any other bright object for that matter – because that will make your eyes readjust, causing the meteors to become harder to spot. While a single meteor is easier to see as it crosses the sky, a shower like the Draconids requires more focus, as the particles aren’t big enough to shine as spectacularly on down on Earth.
As seen in previous records of the Draconid meteor shower, this event produces some shooting stars each hour. There were some years, however, when several hundred could be spotted per hour.
If you’re wondering why this year’s production is more spectacular than other, it’s because the moon won’t compete with the light shone by the Draconids. The biggest show is opening curtains on Thursday just before dawn, so keep your eyes open.
According to NASA records, meteor rates can reach up to 600 per hour; the most spectacular event, however, occurs when one almost hits us head on, because a special kind of firework show begins.
Image Source: Science Heathen