It’s that time of the year again as the Draconid meteor shower is set to grace skylines up and down the UK, including in Manchester.
The annual phenomenon, which is one of two meteor showers expected in October, is predicted to peak later this week.
Mancunians are likely to catch a glimpse of bright lights streaking across the horizon as debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
What is a Draconid meteor shower?
The Draconids, which occur every October, are meteor showers seen as the Earth travels through cometary debris.
The debris, from comet 21 P/Giacobini-Zinner, enters the Earth’s atmosphere at around 13 miles per second.
Despite some being as small as a grain of sand, they travel at such speed that they burn up, creating bright lights in the sky – hence the shooting star effect.
The name Draconid derives from the constellation Draco, which is in a shape similar to a dragon.
How can I see the Draconid meteor shower?
In order to have the best chance of seeing the Draconid meteor shower, it is essential to have a clear view of the stars in the night sky.
The weather needs to be clear, the sky needs to be dark, and the horizon needs to be unobstructed with minimal light pollution.
It is also important to have no direct light sources in your eyes, as that way your vision will adjust better to darkness, and the meteor shower will be easier to see.
When does the Draconid meteor shower peak?
Most meteor showers are best seen in the early hours of the morning, however, the Draconids are actually most visible in the early evening, just after sunset.
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the peak of the Draconid meteor shower will be on Sunday, October 8 and Monday, October 9.
However, the showers are also expected to be visible after the sun sets on Saturday, October 7 and Tuesday, October 10.
What is the weather forecast for Manchester this week?
As the Draconid meteor showers strike Manchester, Mancunians can expect rather varied weather, according to the Met Office.
This is what the Met Office is forecasting for the next seven days in Manchester:
- Monday, 3 October – Day: Cloudy, 16ºC. Night: Cloudy spells, 13ºC.
- Tuesday, 4 October – Day: Light rain, 17ºC. Night: Heavy rain, 15ºC.
- Wednesday, 5 October – Day: Heavy rain showers, 17ºC. Night: Clear skies, 10ºC.
- Thursday, 6 October – Day: Sunny spells, 17ºC. Night: Cloudy spells, 12ºC.
- Friday, 7 October – Day: Rain showers, 15ºC. Night: Rain showers, 10ºC.
- Saturday, 8 October – Day: Rain showers, 14ºC. Night: Overcast, 9ºC.
- Sunday, 9 October – Day: Rain showers, 15ºC. Night: Cloudy, 9ºC.