Draconid meteor showers 2022: When do they peak this week and how to watch them

Things are looking up for stargazers as the Draconid meteor shower is set to peak this week

If you’d like to raise your chances of spotting a shooting star this month, the Draconid meteor shower is not to be missed.

Of course, they are not actually stars but debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner as it orbits the sun.

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The Earth passes through these fragments every October which produce flares of light as they burn up in our atmosphere.

The name Draconid comes from the constellation of Draco where the meteors appear to originate from in the night sky.

Here’s everything you need to know from when it peaks to where you should do your stargazing.

Things are looking up for stargazers this week as the Draconid meteor shower is set to peak

When does the Draconid meteor shower peak?

According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Draconid "tends to be a less active meteor shower" which occurs in October for the Northern hemisphere.

This year, it will peak around October 8-9, although there is also the chance to see it in the couple of days before that and possibly the day after too, before it disappears altogether until around the same time in 2023.

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How to watch the Draconid meteor shower

While most meteor showers are best viewed in the early hours of the morning, Draconid is best seen in the evening.

Reducing light pollution and finding a dark place to watch from will help to increase visibility, although the full moon on October 8 may counteract your efforts on that particular day.

The UK Meteor Network says you don’t need any special equipment but a bit of preparation is a good idea.

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They recommend first checking the weather forecast to see which days are likely to have the clearest skies.

They also suggest finding a spot with an unobscured view of the horizon, away from buildings, trees, and street lights.

A wide view of the sky and a comfy chair are a good idea as the Draconids can appear in any part of the sky, over many hours.