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How to see the Draconids, the first meteor shower of fall this weekend

This weekend will be the best time to enjoy the Draconids, one of the most spectacular meteor showers of the year. Find out how and when you see them.

every 6.6 years, Comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner It completes one revolution of the Sun, leaving a dense cloud of dust, rock, and ice in its path through the inner realms of the Solar System. When the Earth passes through the region of its orbit coinciding with this cloud, the meteors disintegrate upon entering the atmosphere forming fireballs in the celestial vault: these are the DragonThe first rain of autumn stars.

How do you see the dragon?

Photo: Getty Images

Although it is not one of the most common meteor showers due to its average intensity (20 meteors per hour), this year the Dragon It coincides with the new moon, so that the reflection of sunlight on our natural satellite is not an obstacle to finding a darkened sky.

In 2021, the Draconids will reach their point Max on the night of October 8. The radiation of this meteor (the point in the night sky from which most meteors appear) is located in the constellation Draco, which will be Visible from dusk Heading north until just after midnight.

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however, No need to select the Draco constellation To see as many meteors as possible: If you want to enjoy more of this meteor shower, it is best to have as wide a view of the night sky as possible, because the fireballs It can appear anywhere Heavenly vault.

How to enjoy this meteor shower more

draconids starfall
Photo: Getty Images

Find a place free from light pollution: The best places to enjoy a meteor shower are those far from the cities. If you can get out into a rural area with low light pollution, you will get an unbeatable experience.

be comfortable: Find a position that allows you to see most of the sky (it’s best to lie on your back so you don’t strain your neck). Remember that No need to use any optical instrument The best way to see Draconids is with the naked eye.

Let your eyes get used to the dark: It’s possible that during the first half hour of observation, you won’t see many meteors.

In the same way that when you enter a room with the light off and at first you can’t see anything, your eyes need to adapt to the darkness to catch more light. Avoid looking at any light source (even your cell phone) and in no time you will achieve it Capture more details of the night sky.

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