2 meteor showers will play across the Arizona skies this week
As October moves forward, we get to see two interesting meteor showers with some moonlight.
October opens up the fall meteor shower season with the annual Draconid shower.
This interesting meteor shower will appear all week in our Arizona skies and peak on the nights of Oct. 8-9.
The Draconid meteor shower is known to come from comet 21P/Giacobini–Zinner, discovered back on Dec. 20, 1900.
The comet produces many slow fireball-type meteors, which may appear out on the northwest sky after sunset.
This is one shower that actually has more activity before midnight, as the radiant is high in the sky.
In 1933 and 1946, there was a great outburst of meteors from this shower. This year, it’s difficult to predict results as a bright moon will hamper some of the view.
Once again, the shower is known for some bright and slow moving fireballs.
Here is a basic finder chart for the 2019 Draconid shower.
The other meteor shower that is plowing into our October skies is the annual Southern Taurid meteor shower.
With clear skies, look to the northeast after midnight for what might be a good display of bright fireballs.
The Southern Taurids have a radiant that appears just below the famous group of stars, known as the Pleiades star cluster.
The meteors from this shower are from comet 2/P Encke, which has a long history of sending us some exceptionally bright fireballs!
Alert: Look to the early evening and midnight skies for what may be a few very bright fireballs from these two showers. This in spite of bright moonlight.
In 1995, observers in Europe saw a bright fireball, brighter than the full moon and it produced a large meteorite.
Here is a finder chart for the Southern Taurids.
If you miss any of this, get set for the next meteor shower, the Orionids, which peak on the morning of Oct. 21-22 in the east at dawn.
To print your own monthly star chart, click here.
To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.
Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday morning at 3 a.m.