Draconid meteor shower October 2019: how to watch in the UK
Tonight (Tue 8 Oct) a Draconid meteor shower will reach its peak in the night sky.
This is everything you need to know if you want to watch the display where you live.
What is a Draconid meteor shower?
The Draconid meteor shower happens annually, and is active between 6 and 11 October with tonight seeing the shower reach its peak.
As Earth passes through Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner’s tail, bits of the comet hit the Earth's atmosphere, where they turn into the bright streak of light through the sky that we all want to see.
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A blog post from the National Space Centre (NSC) says that there will be “five to ten meteors per hour”.
In previous years, Draconid meteor showers have had thousands of visible meteors per hour.
The NSC writes, “We’re not expecting any outbursts in 2019, but meteor shower outburst are notoriously hard to predict, so you never know.”
When is the best time to watch it?
Unlike most other meteor showers that are best seen in the morning, the Draconids are actually best seen in the evening, after the sun has set.
Across the UK, the sun will set at 6:23pm this evening.
The best place to watch
You don’t need to be looking in any specific direction in order to try and catch a glimpse of the shower.
The NSC writes, “Lean back, let your eyes adjust to the dark and watch the whole sky (it helps to have friends look in different directions).”
The NSC also recommends that you should try to find as dark a location as you can in order to view the meteor shower.
“The darker the location the better, so find the darkest sky you can away from city lights,” it advises.