How to watch Draconid meteor shower this World Space Week

Virgin Radio

4 Oct 2023, 12:00

Meteor shower in a dark sky

Credit: Getty

It’s time to look up to the skies once more in the hopes of catching a glimpse of something absolutely spectacular.

While this year’s supermoons have now all disappeared under the horizon, the upcoming Draconid meteor shower promises to be quite the treat - and even coincides with World Space Week!

But when can people in the UK expect to see this beautiful meteor shower, and how is it best viewed? Keep reading as we’ve got all the details…

When can I watch the Draconid meteor shower?

The Draconid meteor shower will be available to view from Friday, 6th October to Tuesday, 10th October. Unlike many other celestial events, this meteor shower is also helpfully at its best in the early evening just after nightfall - rather than early hours of the morning!

Experts believe the best time for viewing the meteor shower will be around 8pm on Sunday, 8th October. Providing of course that we get clear skies!

How can I watch the Draconid meteor shower?

The Draconids will be visible to the naked eye, so there’s no need to get any special stargazing equipment ahead of your attempt to view them.

To get the best view of the Draconid meteor shower, budding stargazers are recommended to get to somewhere dark, away from artificial light, and allow around 10-20 minutes for their eyes to adjust to the dark.

Where can I watch the Draconid meteor shower?

The Draconids should be viewable from anywhere in the UK, just as long as the sky is clear. In order to spot the meteor shower, look in the direction of the constellation Draco - which gives the shower its name. A stargazing app should be able to help orientate you to this collection of stars if you're unsure.

What is the Draconid meteor shower?

Like other meteor showers, the Draconid meteor shower is caused by small grains of sand burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Draconids are caused by debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.

What is World Space Week?

World Space Week is an annual celebration of all things space, held from 4th October to the 10th October. It was set up in December 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly.

World Space Week begins on 4th October in order to commemorate the date of the launch of the first ever human-made satellite, Sputnik 1, in 1957. Its 10th October end date celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the multilateral Outer Space Treaty in 1967.