Don’t Miss the Draconid Meteor Shower

Seth Jarvis

Watch for an early evening meteor shower on October 7th and 8th. Tonight and tomorrow, the Draconid meteor shower will offer a rare display of bright meteors without requiring observers to stay up until the wee small hours to get a good view. Because these meteors appear come from the far north in the constellation Draco (hence the name), the peak of these meteors can be seen soon after sunset, instead of having to wait until after midnight as is usually the case for watching meteors.

As always, you’ll want to find as dark a sky a possible away from city lights. Fortunately, the three day-old Moon sets soon after the Sun and doesn’t create a problem for skywatchers. Under clear skies, observers in northern Utah should expect to see on average a meteor every few minutes. BUT – Draconids are highly variable, and can sometimes produce bursts of hundreds of meteors in a few minutes, or leave observers frustrated by being largely no-shows for an entire evening. Make some hot chocolate, wrap yourself in a blanket, stretch out, look up, be patient, and enjoy the show!

Here are few sites with additional information:

http://earthsky.org/tonight/legendary-draconids-boom-or-bust

And especially,

http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/everything-you-need-to-know-draconid-meteor-shower

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