Celestial fireworks: Draconid meteor shower set to light up Irish skies 

Celestial fireworks: Draconid meteor shower set to light up Irish skies 

The streaks of the Draconids come from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which orbits around the sun in six-and-a-half cycles. Picture: Pexels 

Irish skygazers are set to catch a glimpse of some celestial fireworks on Saturday night, when the Draconid meteor shower is set to reach its peak .

The Draconids, named after the constellation of Draco the dragon, take place each year. They are one of two meteor showers which light up the sky in the month of October, the other being the Orionids.

The streaks of the shower come from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which orbits around the sun in six-and-a-half cycles. 

David Moore of Astronomy Ireland said the Draconids are particularly interesting because they often display more "unexpected and unpredictable outbursts".

"They build to a peak over several nights," he said. "People will have been watching the last few nights [as well as] tonight, tomorrow night and few more nights after that," he said.

"But most of the public will want to see it at its best tomorrow night."

Mr Moore said that, while there will be a bright moon tomorrow night, the most impressive streaks of the shower will still be visible to the naked eye. However, people will need to have given themselves some time beforehand to let their eyes adjust to the dark.

He also advised any Irish skygazers who take images or videos of the Draconids to submit them to Astronomy Ireland.

"If anybody does see any activity they can send their report to Astronomy Island magazine. We always love to publish Irish reports of these showers."

The Draconids will peak on Saturday afternoon, though visibility will be best from sunset onwards. They will remain visible until October 10. 

The Orionids will appear later this month, peaking on October 21.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub


Text header

From florist to fraudster, leaving a trail of destruction from North Cork, to Waterford, to Clare, to Wexford and through the midlands ... learn how mistress of re-invention, Catherine O'Brien, scammed her way around rural Ireland.

War_map
Execution Time: 0.249 s