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Draconid meteor shower to light up the night sky

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The annual Draconid meteor shower is due to begin tonight, and will reach its peak Tuesday night, into Wednesday. The show will fizzle out on Thursday. 

The Draconids are considered a minor meteor shower with only around 10 meteors per hour but, on occasion, can fill the sky with hundreds of meteors.

The 1933 and 1946 Draconids had Zenithal Hourly Rates of thousands of meteors visible per hour, among the most impressive meteor storms of the 20th century. Rare outbursts in activity can occur when the Earth travels through a denser part of the cometary debris stream; for example, in 1998, rates suddenly spiked and spiked again (less spectacularly) in 2005. In 2018, European observers counted over 140 meteors per hour.

Unlike most meteor showers that are best viewed during the second half of the night, the Draconids come in greatest numbers before midnight.

This is a good shower for younger stargazers, especially since the shower peaks on a school night. Start watching first thing at nightfall. Be sure to watch under a dark, open, country sky. You don't have to face a particular direction for these meteors, they fly every which way through the starry sky.

The weather for Tuesday night is promising to press. Sunset is at, 18:31hrs. Cloud cover is predicted to be around 30%.

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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland: Draconid meteor shower to light up the night sky
Draconid meteor shower to light up the night sky
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Cleator Moor | Cumbria: Little Ireland
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