Friday, October 8, 2010

Meteor Shower Tonight... Meh...

Don't expect too much, though.  The peak is only estimated to be ten per hour, but with the new moon, conditions are best for viewing.  The radiant point of the Draconid meteor shower almost coincides with the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon, in the northern sky.  That’s why it is best viewed from the northern hemisphere.  This shower is a real oddity, in the respect that its radiant point is highest in the sky as darkness falls. The shower is definitely a sleeper, producing only a handful of slow meteors per hour in most years. But watch out if the dragon awakes! On occasion, fiery Draco has been known to spew forth hundreds – if not thousands – of meteors in a single hour. An outburst is not predicted for this year, but then, one never knows when an outburst may occur.  In certain years, the Draconids have suddenly sprung to life. In 1933, for example, the meteor shower reached a peak rate of a hundred meteors a minute, while in 1998 viewers saw as many as 500 meteors an hour.  Since the new moon was last night, we’re guaranteed of dark nights for observing these meteors. Unlike most meteor showers, more Draconid meteors are likely to fly in the evening than in the morning hours after midnight - good for us old earlybirds! 

Look northward for the very slow-moving Draconid meteors on the evenings of October 7 and 8.  

Mark your calendar now for next year's Draconids.  It is predicted to peak at 120 per hour!

MOON SONG #11 of 99

Peace, love, and happiness,
Earth Mother


The Blue Faerie said...

I'll have to keep my eye out for this. I don't know how many I'll be able to see in Madison, but if it peaks at 120/hr. hopefully I can see a bit though the lights. :)

Anonymous said...

I´m a bit unlucky when it comes to meteor showers, it´s always cloudy here when it happens :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

Jeanne said...

Thanx for tip! :0)