Draconid Meteor Showers: When Is The Peak, everything We Know

Keen stargazers should keep their eyes on the skies tonight as the Draconid meteor showers peak.

The Draconids take place every year, and are one of the two meteor showers that grace the skies annually in October followed by the Orionids later in the month. Named after the Draco dragon constellation, the showers occur as the Earth passes through a cloud of cometary dust.

The eye-catching streaks come from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which orbits around the sun. Taking place until Monday, the showers will peak on Saturday afternoon at around 2pm with a maximum rate of 10 meteors per hour – but the best time to see them will be this evening.

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Sky-watchers should head out just after sunset for their best chance of catching a glimpse of the celestial fireworks. Although a full moon is out tonight, making it more difficult to spot fainter meteors, the shower will still be visible with the naked eye provided conditions are clear.

Sunset is around 6.26pm in the North East tonight. The Met Office predicts clear skies in Newcastle until around 8pm this evening, so there’s a good chance that you will be able to spot the Draconids – just be sure to wrap up warm.

Tania de Sales Marques, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, told PA: “Like with any other sky-watching activity, make sure to have an unobstructed view of the sky, as far away from sources of light as possible. Wait about 15-20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark before looking out for meteors.”

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The Draconid shower lit up the Northumberland coast this time last year with a spectacular display. The meteors won’t be the first time the region has been dazzled by lights in the sky this month – the Northern Lights put on a breathtaking show earlier this week in Whitley Bay and Kielder .

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