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Get ready for the October Draconids meteor showers
By thinkSPAIN Team Mon, Oct 7, 2019
Stargazers are busy preparing for the annual autumnal meteor showers known as the October Draconids, which occur as the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner passes by Earth.
From Monday 7th until Thursday 10th October the meteor showers named after the constellation Draco, where they seemingly come from, will be clearly visible from Earth. The Draconids are best viewed after sunset in an area with a clear dark sky and little light pollution.
The Draconids occur when particles of dust and rock left behind by the comet in its orbit enter the Earth's atmosphere and evaporate. These particles create a luminous effect, making it possible to see these meteor "showers".
They will be visible in the whole northern hemisphere and in the Tropics.
The most intense Draconid meteor showers in recent history occurred in 1933 and 1946 when thousands of meteors per hour were recorded as the Earth plowed through particularly dense streams of comet debris. Although the Draconids occur every October, it is usually difficult to know just how active each year's meteor shower will be.
During the 2012 shower radar observations detected up to 1000 meteors per hour. The 2012 outburst may have been caused by the narrow trail of dust and debris left behind by the parent comet in 1959.
Photo credit: Juan Carlos Casado, TWAN, Draconid meteor showers above the Celtic ruins of Capote in Badajoz province October 19th 2011.
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