Draconid meteor shower: the best time to see meteorites over Northern Ireland

A Draconid meteor shower is taking place over the next few days though cloudly conditions could hamper the views of skygazers.

By Graeme Cousins
Friday, 8th October 2021, 10:16 am
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 10:16 am
General view of a meteorite
General view of a meteorite

The meteor shower is expected to peak this evening (Friday) going into Saturday.

The Met Office has said skygazers may have to wait for the clouds to part in order to catch a glimpse of it as the Earth passes through a cloud of cometary dust.

Named after the constellation of Draco the dragon, the Draconids occur every year and are one of the two meteor showers to light up the skies in October.

Draconid meteor shower: where to look. Infographic PA Graphics

The shower comes from the debris of comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner and occurs in the Northern Hemisphere.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “Viewing conditions of the meteor shower are not optimal over the UK, but there will be limited opportunities with cloud breaks in central and southern England tonight and perhaps greater chances tomorrow.

“Skywatchers in northern and western parts of the UK will be hampered by cloud and rain.

“Fog may also create local difficulties in other areas.”

But if the clouds do part, the Draconids are best seen in the evening, after nightfall.

To optimise their chances of seeing the display people should try to find somewhere with dark skies, an unobstructed horizon and very little light pollution.

They should also ensure there are no direct sources of light to their eyes.

There is no advantage to using binoculars or a telescope.