October meteor showers - where to watch them in Scotland
Stargazers are in for a treat next month as two meteor showers are set to light up the night sky this October, with the first due next week.
Following this month’s jaw dropping Northern Lights display, The Draconid and The Orionids meteor showers are expected to reach their peaks on October 8th and October 21st giving Scots the chance to see a stunning celestial display.
The Draconid shower (often referred to as the Giacobinids) gets its fiery name as it looks like it is coming from the mouth of the fiery Draco the Dragon northern constellation.
The Orionids get their name as they seem to emerge from the constellation Orion.
How to watch them
Whereas most meteor showers can be best viewed in the darkness of night, The Draconid and The Orionids meteor showers can be best viewed right after sunset with viewers in Northern America, Europe and Asia best placed to see the stars.
You don’t need to be a seasoned astronomer to catch a glimpse of the meteor displays either, just escape the city and go to an area with little artificial light and you should be able to see these shooting stars without even a telescope.
The annual event will see around 10 to 20 meteors shoot through the sky per hour so keep your eyes peeled and wrap up warm.
The best places to see the event is in remote areas with next to no light pollution. Some of Scotland’s darkest skies can be found at:
- Loch Doon, South Ayrshire
- Galloway Forest Park, Dumfries & Galloway
- Isle of Skye, Highlands
- Isle of Coll, Western Isles
However, if you’re unable to escape the city for the evening, do not fret. Head to any nearby hill to give yourself a good chance to catch a glimpse of the astral spectacle.