Night of shooting stars 2021 – Draconids – meteors in the October sky

On the night from October 8 to 9 a shower of meteors from the Draconid swarm will appear on the sky. Only once a year, exactly in October, you can admire such an unusual spectacle in the sky. In the coming days over Poland there will be excellent conditions to watch the shooting stars. When exactly will the night with the Draconids be? How will we recognize them?

Draconids is a swarm of stars, which rewards unusually persistent and patient sky watchers. The rain of meteors appears regularly every year, but with varying intensity. The Draconids are called a variable swarm, which makes it difficult to predict how many may appear in the sky in a given year.

What are the Draconids?

Our swarm of meteors is actually the remains of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinnerand their increased activity is observed in the years of the comet’s return to the Sun. Huge Draconid storms can be observed in cycles of several years or more.

The most spectacular meteor showers occurred in 2008 and 2011, and the most intense storms include those of 1933 and 1946. Up to several thousand meteors per hour were observed then.

Night of the shooting stars. When to watch the meteor shower?

In 2021 a Draconid swarm will be visible on the night from Friday to Saturday, October 8 to 9. According to forecasts by synoptics, most of Poland will be cloudless, so it’s a perfect reason to go in search of shooting stars.

Let’s plan our trip when it gets completely dark in the evening. Let’s look for such a place, which will be the least polluted by light – the further from the city center, the better. At the beginning we should give ourselves even a quarter of an hour to get our eyes used to complete darkness.

In order to find Draconids we need to look at the sky for at least an hour. It’s best to look in the direction of the constellation DragonBut if we can’t find it, let’s set up to observe the widest possible strip of the night sky.

Although this year no big meteor stormbut due to the fact that Draconids are a variable swarm, so it’s hard to predict how many shooting stars will appear. The weather will be favourable, so that should be reason enough to go and see such an unusual phenomenon as the Draconid swarm.

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