Heads-up on Monday evening! Meteor shower coming
The Draconid meteor shower will sweep across U.S. skies early Monday evening, just after sunset.
Although not among the showiest showers of the year, the Draconids stand out for one reason: Unlike most meteor showers, they are best seen in the evening rather than before dawn.
That makes them a great introduction to sky watching because they don't require getting up early.
The shower this year also should be good watching because the moon is waxing and won't reflect enough light to significantly interfere with the display.
Some Draconids should be visible just after sunset Tuesday evening, but that display is not expected to be as large.
Last year's Draconid shower was especially lively, which means this year the meteors are likely to be a little more sedate, according to EarthSky, a science news blog.
The name comes from the way the meteors appear to emanate from the northern constellation Draco the Dragon, which sits just above the Little Dipper in the night sky.
The meteors are the result of tiny bits of dust and ice debris left behind by the Giacobini-Zinner comet, which circles the sun every 6.6 years.
As the Earth passes through the trail of cosmic debris, the particles burn up in our atmosphere, creating the fiery trails we call falling stars.
The Draconids are notoriously unpredictable. Some years they are impressive, with thousands of falling stars per hour, and other years they are much more sedate. Showers in 1933 and 1946 were especially large.
To get the best view, find an area away from city lights so the eyes can adjust to the darkness for at least 20 minutes. Astronomers suggest lying on a blanket or reclining chair to get a full-sky view.
“If you can see all of the stars in the Little Dipper, you have good dark-adapted vision,” said Rebecca Johnson, editor of StarDate magazine.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Intruder made it to East Room of White House, overpowered Secret Service officer
- Schools grapple with immigration overload
- FAA reviews contingency plans, security policies after Chicago air traffic control center fire
- IRS not wholly tracking dodgers, report finds
- Supreme Court blocks start of early Ohio voting
- 3 whistle-blowers in VA scandal settle complaints they were punished
- Weather extremes linked to global warming
- Cost of taking fight to ISIS pegged at $2.4B to $6.8B a year
- Police link 2 more cases to University of Virginia suspect
- Some La. hospitals bill rape victims; legislators vow to end policy
- NSA relies on 1981 executive order signed by Reagan