Saturday, October 8, 2011

Saturday's Draconid meteors may be no-see-ums

As many as 750 meteors an hour are expected 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 and the meteors will be falling during nighttime in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, a nearly full moon is expected to dull the spectacle there.

NASA space weatherman Bill Cooke suggests popping outside and taking a look once it's dark. You might get lucky if forecasters' timing is off.

"The moon sucks. It's messed up meteor showers this year. It just so happens that this year's meteor showers are falling at or near the time of full moons.

In 1933 and 1946, the Draconid outbursts were major — observers reported an astounding rate of 20,000 shooting stars an hour. An Irish astronomer described the 1933 episode like a flurry of snowflakes.

The next Draconid outburst after this one will be in 2018.

Then there are the Leonids in mid-November - with as many as 100 meteors an hour.

View full the original story Saturday's Draconid meteors may be no-see-ums

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