Draconid meteor showers 2022: When do they peak in Bristol and how to watch them
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If you’ve ever dreamed of spotting a shooting star, you could be in luck this week with the annual Draconid meteor shower soon to grace the skies again over Bristol.
Of course, they are not actually stars but debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner as it orbits the sun.
The Earth passes through these fragments every October which produce flares of light as they burn up in our atmosphere.
The name Draconid comes from the constellation of Draco where the meteors appear to originate from in the night sky.
Here’s everything you need to know from when it peaks to where you should do your stargazing.
When does the meteor shower peak in Bristol?
According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Draconid "tends to be a less active meteor shower" which occurs in October for the Northern hemisphere.
This year, it will peak around October 8-9, although there is also the chance to see it in the couple of days before that and possibly the day after too, before it disappears altogether until around the same time in 2023.
While most meteor showers are best viewed in the early hours of the morning, Draconid is best seen in the evening.
How to watch the Draconid meteor show in Bristol?
Reducing light pollution and finding a dark place to watch from will help to increase visibility, although the full moon on October 8 may counteract your efforts on that particular day.
The UK Meteor Network says you don’t need any special equipment but a bit of preparation is a good idea.
They recommend first checking the weather forecast to see which days are likely to have the clearest skies.
They also suggest finding a spot with an unobscured view of the horizon, away from buildings, trees, and street lights.
A wide view of the sky and a comfy chair are a good idea as the Draconids can appear in any part of the sky, over many hours.
Weather forecast for Bristol during Draconid meteor shower
According to the long range forecast for Bristol (from October 7) from the Met Office, this period will see generally clear or sunny spells - perfect for stargazing.
Grab an umbrella just in case, as frontal systems are likely to continue to bring periods of rain and breezy conditions.
Temperatures will be close to normal throughout the first half of October, trending slightly above in the South West.
There is the possibility for some chilly nights, with potential mist or fog.