Stargazers will be pleased to learn that the yearly Draconid meteor shower will be visible in the night sky on October 9, 2022. The periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner causes the meteor shower. The comet was first discovered by  Michel Giacobini in 1990. The comet has a 6.6-year orbit and was closest to Earth (in 72 years) in 2018.

Unfortunately, this year’s apex coincides with the full Hunter’s Moon in October, making viewing the Draconids difficult. However, the radiant point (the point from which the meteors seem to arise) should be at its maximum on the horizon just before nightfall, around 5:00 pm IST, implying that some of the meteor showers may be perceptible before the full moon rises.

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When and where to watch the Draconids meteor shower?

The Draconids are given the name after the constellation Draco, from which they appear to have originated. The meteor showers will be noticeable throughout the night, peaking just after sunset.  The shower will be visible from New Delhi and other parts of India. 

The Earth’s rotation causes New Delhi to face preferably toward the route of the approaching meteors at the moment, resulting in more meteors raining slightly downward, leaving short luminescent tendrils near the bright spot.

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The passage of a comet causes meteor showers. The comet’s debris burns up as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a brilliant display of light streaks in the night sky.

The Hunter’s Moon, the first full moon of October, coincides with the meteor shower. The Moon will be near full phase in Pisces on the day of maximum at the shower’s peak. Though the moon’s intensity may outshine the meteor shower, it will be fully evident through binoculars or a telescope from areas with low light pollution.

To the naked eye, it will appear as faint strands of light.