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American Meteor Society

Possible Draconid Activity Next Week

30 Sep 2020, 13:57 UTC
Possible Draconid Activity Next Week
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Each year around October 8th the Earth passes close to the orbit of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. In most years only a few meteors are seen from the “head” of Draco during this time. This year though may produce a bit more activity as Jérémie Vaubaillon (IMCCE – Institute for Celestial Mechanics and Computation of Ephemerides, Paris) has predicted the Earth will pass close to two comet trails produced by 21P/Giacobini-Zinner in 1704 and 1711. Peter Jenniskens (SETI Institute – NASA Ames Research Center) predicted times of these passages are on October 7 at 01:25 UT for the 1704 passage and 01:57 UT for the 1711 passage. While the radiant will lie above the horizon for a large area of the Earth stretching from western Asia to North America, these timings favor the east coast of North America where the radiant will be located high in the sky at the time of the predicted passages. These meteors can also be seen from tropical areas of the southern hemisphere, but at a reduced rate due to the lower radiant altitude.

To best see these meteors, especially from North America, be ready to observe as soon as it becomes dark on Tuesday evening October ...

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