Draconids meteor shower to light up the sky in the next few days

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Calling all stargazers and amateur astronomers, break out the telescopes as the annual Draconids meteor shower will be visible above the UK this week.

The meteor shower is also known as the Giocobinids, and is one of two meteor showers visible in the night sky this month.

A meteor shower occurs when pieces of rock are attracted to Earth’s gravity and burn up as they enter the atmosphere, giving the effect of stars shooting across the sky.

These meteors travel at 40,000mph, which is relatively slow moving for a meteor, and follows the Giacobini-Zinner comet.

Here is what you need to know about the meteor shower above Leicestershire skies this month.

When will it take place?

The Draconid meteor shower will take place between Saturday, October 6 and Wednesday, October 10 and it will be at its peak between Monday, October 8 and Tuesday, October 9, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The meteor show is one of two showers be seen in the skies in October – the second meteor shower (the Orionids) in October usually peaks around October 21.

What time will it take place?

The time to see the Draconid meteor showers is between 7pm and 7am.

You can watch them at nightfall and early evening on October 8.

What’s good this year is that there’s no moonlight to spoil the views.

How can you spot the shooting stars?

Special equipment is not needed to see a Draconid meteor shower – you should be able to see it with the naked eye.

You need a clear sky and a bit of time.

So find a secluded spot away from bright city lights and then your eyes will take about 20 minutes to get used to the dark.

When you find the spot to look at the night skies, lie down and look up – but don’t forget to wear warm clothing and take a blanket and a chair with you.

The radiant point for the Draconid meteor shower almost coincides with the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky.

The Draconid shower is odd in that the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls, meaning that more Draconids are probably going to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight.

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