Those Perseids have eluded me again
Sigh. I’ll have to wait until next year now! One day – ONE DAY – I WILL get to see them, in person, with my very own eyes!
However, coming soon to the skies (around October 7th) are the Draconids, when the constellation of Draco (the Dragon) will be sending a selection of meteors out into our direction. They appear to be coming from the dragon’s head, interestingly, although the shooting stars are actually caused by dust from a comet named 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinnerand. Another good thing about this meteor shower is that it appears just before nightfall, and just after the Sun has set – so there’s no need to stay up late! Although one or two shooting stars will be seen throughout the night.
And, if I miss this one, a few weeks later there’s the Orionids to look out for (October 21st). Although to see these I’d have to be up at the crack of dawn. Or just before, apparently.
One final shower to mention will appear in November (17th) again just before dawn; the Leonids. I missed a spectacular display from the Leonids back in 1966, where thousands of shooting stars were seen every minute for fifteen minutes or so. I didn’t miss them because of cloud cover or was looking the other way or anything, I simply hadn’t been born yet. So maybe this year, fifty years later, history will repeat itself with this meteor shower.
I can’t wait, but I’m not holding my breath… chances are I’ll miss every single one.
The image is a screenshot from a nifty open source planetarium called Stellarium which can take you anywhere in the skies and anywhere in time. Ideal for finding constellations!