Meteor shower 2019: Two spectacular showers peak this month – Look out for fireballs – Express.co.uk

A pair of meteor showers will peak on consecutive nights this week, including one known for treating stargazers with intensely bright fireball meteors. This week’s consecutive meteor showers gives amateur astronomers of all ages ample opportunity to spot some shooting stars right from their backyard. explains what you can expect to see fall from the heavens in the coming days.

Draconid meteor shower:

October features the peak of three meteor showers, with the first reaching its climax later today (Tuesday, October 9).

The Draconid shower is usually a relatively quiet occasion, offering between 10 and 20 meteors an hour.

But the shower is known to sometimes produces awe-inspiring, once-in-a-lifetime meteor displays.

NASA’s Bill Cooke told Space.com in January the shower could produce between 40 and 50 meteors this year.

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Meteor shower 2019: Two shooting star showers will peak this week (Image: Getty)

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Meteor shower 2019: The Draconids reach their peak on Tuesday evening (Image: Getty)

In 1933 and 1946, thousands of meteors appeared every hour, while lucky observers saw more than 600 meteors per hour in 2011.

However, these were caused by Earth passing closest through the dusty tail of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner – the Draconids’ source. 

Fortunately, the Draconids are notoriously unpredictable, meaning there is an outside chance for short bursts of significantly higher rates.

Many meteor showers are best viewed during the second half of the night.

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The Draconids are one of the more unusual meteor showers, as the majority arrive in the night skies before midnight.

This is a good shower for younger stargazers, especially since the shower peaks on a school night

Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather

Dave Samuhel, AccuWeather astronomer and meteorologist, said: “This is a good shower for younger stargazers, especially since the shower peaks on a school night.”

Unfortunately, a near-Full Moon will be in the sky during this part of the night.

The lunar orb will be up to 76 percent illuminated tonight.

This means stargazers should watch for meteors in areas away from the beaming Moon.

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Meteor shower 2019: Stargazers should watch for meteors in areas away from the beaming Moon (Image: Getty)

Southern Taurid meteor shower:

The Southern Taurid shower arrives on Wednesday, October 9, into Thursday, October 10.

This makes this the second meteor shower to peak in as many nights.

The Southern Taurids are similar to their predecessor as they are a minor shower with fewer than 10 meteors per hour.

However, stargazers should not allow the Southern Taurid’s slim numbers to discourage.

The American Meteor Society state on their website: “The Taurids are rich in fireballs.”

Fireballs are meteors that are extraordinarily bright as they streak through the night skies.

The space rocks can even be bright enough to cast shadows on the ground as they hurtle overhead.

How to spot meteors in the sky during a shower:

A surprising misconception with meteor showers is you should focus on a certain part of the sky to see shooting stars.

The opposite is true, as meteors arrive in all areas of the sky, not just near the radiant point.

AccuWeather’s Dave Samuhel said: “You want to get as much sky in your field of view as possible.

“My favourite approach to meteor viewing is to find a conformable lounge chair or even just a yoga mat to lie on.“