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Meteor Shower Will Be Drowned Out by Sun

A meteor shower this weekend is likely to be impressive, but not many people will get a chance to see it as the bulk of the shower will peak around 1 p.m. EDT, says NBC.
The upcoming Draconid meteor shower will be visible on Oct. 8, when up to 1,000 meteors per hour will streak across the sky.
However, the timing of the shower will make it difficult for those in North America to see it, much to the regret of avid stargazers who are disappointed to miss out on such a rare opportunity.

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Draconid Meteor Outburst

On October 8th Earth is going to plough through a stream of dust from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, and the result could be an outburst of Draconid meteors.
Every 6.6 years Comet Giacobini-Zinner swings through the inner solar system. With each visit, it lays down a narrow filament of dust, over time forming a network of filaments that Earth encounters every year in early October.

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American stargazers could be forgiven for shaking a fist at the heavens this weekend. The Draconids meteor shower is expected to yield intense shooting-star activity, but by the time the sun sets on the United States, the action will most likely have ended.
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Draconids meteor shower
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Draconids and Meteor Scatter

The British Astronomical Association is organising a 'meteor watch' exercise for the coming Draconids shower, between 7th and 9th October.
It would be interesting to compare meteor scatter counts against activity reported by visual observers up and down the country.  The Draconids are not normally a large event but are subject to occasional outbursts and there has been speculation that this year could produce one of these.

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Travel Challenge: Draconids meteor shower

Every week we invite three competing companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a holiday in Turkey to coincide with the Draconids meteor shower in early October, which this year is expected to be a particularly radiant display of "shooting stars". Prices are for two people and include flights to Istanbul.
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The 2011 Draconid outburst is expected to occur between 17:00 and 18:00 Universal Time on October 8, 2011. The best locations from which to view the shower, which is only visible in the northern hemisphere, will be Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
Though the peak of the outburst will occur during daylight in Canada, the shower is expected to continue to produce meteors, albeit it at a reduced level, into the evening of October 8. So Canadians will still have a chance to see the meteor shower.

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Draconids meteor shower peak.
This years Draconid meteor shower (also called the Giacobinids) is predicted to be particularly strong, as the earth may pass through a dense dust streams left by 19th century passages of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.
An outburst, which may produce a Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of 750, is predicted to occur between 17:09 and 19:57 UT, 8th October 2011. The peak is expected to occur over Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Giacobini.gif
Credit J. Vaubaillon

The Draconids are best placed for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.
The radiant point for the Draconid meteor shower coincides with the head of the constellation Draco (the Dragon) in the northern sky, (Draco is in the same vicinity as the North star).
The moon is full on the 12th October, 2011, and may interfere.



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Draconid meteor shower: NASA prepares for potentially damaging 2011 meteor shower

NASA is assessing the risk to spacecraft posed by the upcoming 2011 Draconid meteor shower, a seven-hour storm of tiny space rocks that has the potential to ding major Earth-orbiting spacecraft like the crewed International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope.
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Look to the north tonight right after dark. The Draconid Meteor Shower peaks tonight, right after dark. The shower is named after the constellation, Draco The Dragon, from which the shooting stars will come from.
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The Draconids originate from the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner which orbits the Sun every six and a half years. The ZHR  is only 10 per hour, however the shower produced a spectacular outburst in 1946, and increased rates in 1998 and 2005.
The meteors will seem to appear  from constellation Draco.

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Just a reminder, the annual Draconid meteor shower peaks at 04:30 UT,Oct. 9th.
The Draconids have produced two major storms in 1933 and 1946, and several other significant outbursts. Draconids are very slow meteors. The parent body of the meteors is Comet Giacobini-Zinner.

Draconids3

Look to the north, towards the head of Draco

October 6-10, Maximum Oct. 9/10
RA = 17.8h
Dec = 78.1°
V = 28.7km/s
ZHR = 35


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