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Shooting stars are raining over Germany: where you can marvel at the Draconids

In October it rains falling stars from the night sky again. We explain where and when you can experience the Draconid shooting star night.

Munich – Shooting stars have always fascinated people. It is not for nothing that shooting stars should bring luck and fulfill wishes. They are rarely seen with the human eye, but in October there is again the opportunity to catch a shooting star. The so-called Draconids can be seen every year from October 6th to 10th. So this year too.

Draconid shooting star night: where and when to see them

The meteor shower can be observed particularly well this year from October 7th to 9th. The shooting stars are best seen in the northern hemisphere, especially at the height of the Draconids on October 8th and 9th. This means that the natural spectacle can also be observed in Germany. In Germany, up to ten shooting stars are said to rain from the sky every hour.

In contrast to other meteor showers, the Draconids are already clearly visible shortly after sunset, as the radiant is then already quite high in the sky. The radian describes the apparent origin of the falling stars.

Draconid shooting stars: origin and the dragon constellation

This point in the sky is for Draconids in the constellation Dragon. This is located in the northern sky near the better-known “little bear” (also known colloquially as the “little wagon”). Most shooting stars come from the direction of the two brightest stars in the constellation, Etamin and Alwaid, which form the dragon’s head. Hence the name of the meteo shower.

The real origin of the small extraterrestrial boulders and dust particles is the comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner. In the period from October 6 to 10, the earth will cross the orbit of comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner, the fragments of which will then burn up as shooting stars in the atmosphere.

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Tips for the Draconid shooting star night:

  • Look for a place with little light where, in the best case, you have a clear view of the radiant (apparent origin).
  • Allow 15 to 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the darkness.
  • Check the weather forecast in advance. When the weather is cloudy, it will be difficult to spot shooting stars. If necessary, take a warm blanket with you.
  • Take a comfortable lying or sitting position. Sometimes the shooting stars are a long time coming. It is best to lie flat on your back to have the best possible view of the sky.

Shooting stars 2021: These meteor showers follow the Draconids

In the second half of October, the Draconids are followed by the Orionids. They are active every year in October and the first week of November. During this time, the earth crosses the orbit of Halley’s comet, the fragments of which burn up as shooting stars in the atmosphere. Most shooting stars are around October 20th, 21st and 22nd every year. The Orionids are named after the constellation Orion, because this is where the radiant of the meteor shower is located.

In addition to the Draconids and Orionids, other shooting star nights can be observed in the remainder of 2021. The Leonids follow in November (maximum: November 17th) and in December the Geminids (peak: December 13th) and Ursids (maximum: December 22nd). So there are still some ways to discover a shooting star and make a wish. (jsch)

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