Draconid meteor shower 2022: Here’s how to see it from South Africa | The Citizen

The Draconid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend, but only stargazers from the northern hemisphere will be in the driver’s seat for this celestial event.

Fret not! We’ve included live streams of the meteor shower below. But first, here’s wat you need to know about the Draconids.

Draconid meteor shower

The best time to view

Draconids meteor shower usually occurs during the first two weeks of October. This year, it peaks on 8 and 9 October.

Watch live: Draconid meteor shower

Under ideal conditions – that is, a dark sky with no moon or light pollution – stargazers might see ten Draconid meteors per hour.

Unfortunately, October’s Hunter Moon on Sunday will likely drown out most Draconid meteors from view in the northern hemisphere.

What are the Draconids?

The Draconids are groups of meteoroids originating from dust grains ejected from Comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, discovered by Michel Giacobini on 20 December 1900.

According to the Bronberg Weather Station in Tshwane, “these small dust grains are distributed along the comet’s orbit, concentrated close to the comet nucleus”.

“Every time the Earth passes through this stream of dust particles (i.e. meteor stream), we experience what is known as a Draconids meteor shower”.

Live streaming from Belfast, Northern Ireland

Comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner

The Earth will be moving through the centre of the comet’s dust trial tonight.

Comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner passes Earth once every 6.6 years, and last reached perihelion – the point when it is closest to our solar system’s Sun – on 10 September 2018.

That was also the year the comet made its closest approach to Earth.

Will the dragon awake in 2022?

Secrets of Space, a Non-Profit-Organisation in the United States, said the Draconid meteor shower “is a real oddity”.

“The radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls. That means that, unlike many meteor showers, more Draconids are likely to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight”.

Even though some years might dish up an uneventful shower, the Centre warns to “watch out if the Dragon awakes”.

“In rare instances, fiery Draco has been known to spew forth many hundreds of meteors in a single hour”.

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