Draconid Meteor Shower Sweep Across U.S. On Monday


The Draconid meteor shower will span over the entire the U.S. evening sky on Monday evening just after sunset.

Although they are not the most flashest of the meteor showers throughout the year, the Draconids have made a name for themselves for a major reason. Not like the majority of meteor bursts, these are most likely to be viewed in the evening instead of the morning before dawn arrives. This makes the Draconids a wonderful way to begin to start sky-watching because they do not require having to get up early.

The meteor shower that happens this year should also come along with good watching since the moon is in its early waxing phase and will not reflect enough sunlight to considerably restrict any of the display.

Some Draconids might also be noticeable just after sunset on Tuesday evening as well, but that showing will not be quite as large as Monday night’s shower.

When the meteors hit last year, the Draconids were particularly lively. So that means this year the meteors will probably be much slower. At least that is what EarthSky, a science news blog, is stating most likely to happen.

The name Draconid is derived from the way the meteors seem to originate from the northern constellation of Draco the Dragon, which is located just above the Little Dipper in the night sky.

The meteors are the product of small bits of ice dust and debris which was left behind by the Giacobini-Zinner comet. This goes around our sun every 6.6 years. When the Earth goes through any trails of cosmic remains, the bits burn up inside our own atmosphere and thus creates the burning trails we like to call falling stars, even though that is a very improper name for them.

The Draconid meteors have always been extremely unpredictable. They can be really impressive in some years and have over thousands of meteors shooting across the darkened sky per hour, yet during other years they end up being much more boring and slow, only having a few streak through the heavens all night long. Meteor showers that occurred in the years of 1933 and 1946, respectively, were particularly large and beautiful.

The way to have the best view of the Draconids is to get to an area that is far away from any city lights. The eyes must be able to adjust to nightfall for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Astronomers say that sitting in a chair that reclines backwards or lying on a blanket on the ground are a couple of the best ways to get a full range view of the sky.

They also explained about the best place to look up in the sky, where to find the finest viewing areas. It was stated that if a person is able to see all or most of the stars that are located inside the constellation the Little Dipper, then that person should have very good viewing ability. A lot of the meteors are expected to fall near that part of the sky so aim to keep looking around that part of the night horizon.

Written by: Kimberly Ruble


USA Today


Washington Times


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