07 October 2021

Cloud, rain and fog threaten views of Draconid meteor shower

07 October 2021

Skygazers may have to wait for the clouds to part in order to catch a glimpse of the Draconid meteor shower as the Earth passes through a cloud of cometary dust.

The shower will take place from October 7 to 11, but is expected to peak on the evening of Friday into Saturday.

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.

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

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

However, bad weather threatens to hamper people’s chances of seeing the celestial display.

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.

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