A Draconid streaks the Canadian skies.
NASA/UWO Meteor Physics Group
This weekend you possibly can watch celestial dragons spitting fireballs and a newfound comet blazing its personal path throughout the night time sky.
Each the height of the Draconid meteor bathe (additionally known as the Giacobinids) and the drably-named however brightly shining Comet C/2017 O1 ASAS-SN can be seen within the night on October eight.
The comet was noticed for the primary time by the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae (ASAS-SN) in July and has since brightened drastically and moved to its present place within the sky within the route of the constellation Perseus, superb for viewing from the northern hemisphere. It needs to be seen with a great pair of binoculars or a yard telescope.
To identify it, use this sky map to know the place to level your lenses and search for a lightweight that could be a little softer and extra fuzzy than a star, maybe with a little bit little bit of a tail.
No binoculars are wanted to identify the “capturing stars” that can be spit from the mouth of the constellation Draco the Dragon this weekend, although. The Draconids come from the particles path left in our cosmic neighborhood by the comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner.
Since our complete planet is passing by means of that cloud proper now, you do not truly should look within the route of Draco to see the meteors. As a substitute, simply head outdoors from anyplace that is as darkish as potential, let your eyes modify then simply lay again and look straight up on the night time sky.
In contrast to many meteor showers, the Draconids ought to truly be extra seen within the night earlier than midnight, so no want to remain up all night time or rise up earlier than daybreak.
Sometimes, the Draconids aren’t essentially the most prolific bathe, usually yielding only a handful of streaking meteors per hour, however once in a while we get what the American Meteor Society calls a “Draconid Outburst” of as much as a number of hundred capturing stars per hour. Though no such outburst is predicted this 12 months, they don’t seem to be all the time predictable and could be improbable after they occur.
An article in Fashionable Astronomy described the outburst in 1933 as “one of the vital spectacular meteoric showers of recent instances” throughout which “the meteors had been falling as thickly because the flakes of snow in a snow storm.” One observer was stated to estimate “that on the most 100 meteors appeared in 5 seconds.”
Must you occur to seize a photograph of something spectacular within the sky, do not forget to share it with me on Twitter @EricCMack.
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