Draco meteor shower on Saturday night

2011-10-05 22:07

Cape Canaveral - As many as 750 meteors an hour are expected on Saturday as Earth travels through streams of dust and ice from Comet Giacobini-Zinner. The comet passes through the inner solar system every seven years.

The Draconid meteors are expected to peak between 15:00 and 17:00 EDT (20:00 to 22:00 GMT). While it will be night time in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, a nearly full moon is expected to dull the spectacle.

In the United States, the sun will obscure everything. Nasa space weather guru Bill Cooke says if the forecast is wrong and the timing is off by a few hours, the United States may be in for a treat.

The Draconids appear to come from the constellation Draco, the Dragon.

  • Craig Louw - 2011-10-05 22:53

    Why don't they find a way to attach a homing beacon to the comet and track it's trajectory throughout the solar system? That could be interesting. Or even a solar or wind powered camera that piggybacks and sends live feeds home?

      Dennis Walden - 2011-10-06 06:02

      People have been tracking comets using mathematics since the 11th century – why would you want to do it any other way?

      Taurusaurus - 2011-10-06 10:10

      Wind powered? In atmospherically lacking outer space? ;) Solar might also be obscured by shadowed regions / blocked signal transmission. Nice idea though. :)

      TextOfReason - 2011-10-06 12:24

      its not a comet and they would mostly be too small to find individual meteors to attach to. Besides a comet is generally shooting debris out so much that all you would see is a violent "mist". We do have craft following and flying alongside comets tho, or at least we did, its a very volatile place to be.

  • handbanana - 2011-10-06 00:29

    We should be able to see a few of the bigger ones every few minutes or so (fewer if you're observing from a city/town or other source of light pollution), still something you don't see every night! Can't wait!

  • Darwinian - 2011-10-06 11:21

    Cant Wait for this!!

  • Patricia Reardon - 2012-04-21 21:59

    Saw a meteor a little over an hour ago in Hillcrest, KZN! Beautiful...

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