DR. SKY BLOG

Draconid, Southern Taurid meteor showers will glow in October

Sep 30, 2020, 2:00 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

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 night on Oct. 7.

Here is a finder chart for the Draconids.

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.

Here is more on the history of the Draconids.

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.

The other meteor shower that is plowing into our October skies is the annual Southern Taurid meteor shower.

This meteor shower is active from Oct. 9 into early November.

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 more on the Southern Taurid shower.

If you miss any of these meteor showers which may produce fireballs, you can depend on the annual Orionid meteor shower, which will peak on the evening of Oct. 20.

Look to the eastern sky around 3 a.m. MST on the morning of the 21st. Meteors will be seen coming out of the top left region of the constellation of Orion.

All Orionids are debris from the famous Halley’s Comet.

Here is a finder chart for the Orionids.

The rich history of the Orionid meteor shower is listed here.

October brings us some great meteor shower events!

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 at 3 a.m.

Dr. Sky Blog

This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, foregroun...
Steve Kates

DART asteroid deflection mission had all eyes on planetary defense

All eyes were on the skies Monday as a tiny spacecraft launched from earth last November attempted to deflect an asteroid.
1 day ago
(Unsplash Photo)...
Steve Kates

Mark your stargazing calendar for these upcoming October treats

As the year moves on, the skies of October will be some of the best that Arizona can offer!
8 days ago
The Strawberry Supermoon sets in front of the NASA Artemis rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard ...
Steve Kates

‘Cancer moonshot’ brings back memories of JFK space-race speech 60 years ago this week

President John F. Kennedy gave a speech 60 years ago to set a goal of sending men to the moon. Now, NASA is returning to the moon.
15 days ago
(Public Domain Pictures Photo)...
Steve Kates

Here’s how you can get a great view of the harvest moon Sept. 9

One of the most memorable of the full moons of 2022 is the upcoming harvest moon! Look for the rising harvest moon on the evening of Sept. 9.
22 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Steve Kates

September skies feature harvest moon, 4 of the planets for viewing

With fall just around the corner and the traditional end of the summer monsoon season, we will soon return to those great Arizona skies.
29 days ago
Liftoff of NASA's Space Launch System rocket and integrated Orion spacecraft is targeted for 8:33 a...
Steve Kates

Upcoming launch of Artemis I moon rocket kicks off another moon quest

The next great leap to space will occur soon with the launch of the Artemis I moon rocket.
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Draconid, Southern Taurid meteor showers will glow in October