Friday, 19 October, 2018

Two meteor showers to shine over Vietnam this month

Sky watchers spot shooting stars as Draconid Meteor Shower peaks Monday Sky watchers spot shooting stars as Draconid Meteor Shower peaks Monday Meteor spotted by NASA cameras October 5
Sandy Nunez | 10 October, 2018, 18:56

But with no moonlight tonight, thanks to the darkened New Moon, astronomers hope the Draconids will be incredibly easy to spot.

One benefit of bidding farewell to summer and seeing the sun set earlier is the succession of spectacular winter meteor showers that will keep budding astronomers entertained. But watch out if the Dragon awakes!

The Draconid meteor showers occur annually, each year on the 8 of October, as Earth makes its way through the stream of dust left behind by the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (which has been dubbed Comet G-Z, for short). In 2018, about 10 meteors per hour are expected. The celestial light show is best viewed on a clear night from the northern hemisphere as the meteors appear to come from the Draco the Dragon constellation in the north. This year, comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner reached its perihelion (its nearest point of orbit to the sun) on September 10, which means there is a possibility that more meteors will be observed.

Every year, during the first week of October, the Earth passes through this stellar field of debris.

The best time to see the meteors will be after dusk, in the early hours.

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The Draconids are best seen in the evening hours when the skies are darkening enough to pick out individual meteors. You can start looking for the Draconids in the sky from 21:00, but the chances to see the attractive show increase after midnight.

While most years the Draconid Meteor Shower is relatively modest, in 1933, Europe saw up to 500 shooting stars per minute.

However, when the Draconid does flex its muscles, it offers some of the most wonderful meteor showers.

According to EarthSky.org, the Draconid meteors burst out into the skies near the Draco stars of Eltanin and Rastaban.

As Earth passes through the comet's tail, the debris from the meteor burns up - causing shooting stars.