Science

Back-to-back meteor showers make this a great week for stargazing

Back-to-back meteor showers make this a great week for stargazing”

The night sky over Russian Federation during the Draconid meteor shower, 2018.

Unlike most meteor showers, the Draconids peak in the early evening, after sunset, rather than middle of the night.

According to U.S. space agency NASA, the shower produces between 10 and 20 shooting stars an hour.

It is recommended that meteor shower watchers dress warmly, bring a blanket, and perhaps even a hot beverage to enjoy.

The Southern Taurids became active on September 10 and will remain so until November 20, according to the AMS.

This year, the peak is expected to fall on the night of October 8 to October 9.

In case you miss the Draconids, the Southern Taurids will follow immediately behind on October 9 and October 10, and while they are also expected to be a light shower with fewer than 10 meteors per hour, the AMS said the Taurids are "rich in fireballs".

"This is a good shower for younger stargazers, especially since the shower peaks on a school night", Samuhel said.

The Southern Taurids follow the Draconids.

Like always, the visibility of meteor showers relies on a number of factors, including weather conditions and the location of the stargazer.

Fireballs, also known as very bright meteors, streak across our sky when debris from a comet breaks up in our upper atmosphere. After 3 a.m. local time, once the moon has set, is prime viewing time for those in North America, AccuWeather reported.

This year, a bright waxing gibbous moon will block numerous meteors, but if the night is clear, this evening shower is well worth a look. "Recent displays have produced low to average displays of this shower".

Experts at AccuWeather say your best chance of catching this sight is in areas away from the bright moon and that is less cloudy.

The South Taurid meteor shower is caused by debris from Comet 2P/Encke.

Most of the time meteoroids burn up before they reach the ground, but if one manages to reach the planet's surface it is known as a meteorite.



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