Draconid meteor shower and Blood Moon to light up sky | October 8 2014
- Getty Images
October 8th will be a special night in terms of events in space that are visible to us here on Earth. A Draconid meteor shower is scheduled to be on show as well as a Blood Moon lunar eclipse so grab a deck chair from the garage and keep your fingers crossed that the skies will be clear.
First discovered and recorded in 1900, The Draconid meteor shower gets its' name from the constellation Draco the Dragon. It comes about from the Earth passes through an area full of dust debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner which is on it's own orbit path around the sun. It takes 21P/Giacobini-Zinner approximately 6 and a half years to circle the Sun. This means that we can see these meteors quite regularly and often, like in 2011, the show is spellbinding.
Those in Europe, North America and Asia will be best placed to view the the Draconids - that is if the scheduled Blood moon doesn't obscure our view completely. If October 8th is a bust then you will have another chance to spot the Draconids on the following night but they are forecast to be most prominent on the night of the 8th.
The Blood Moon that will take place on the 8th will be most likely to take centre stage in the sky. The moon will be at it's closest point to Earth, its' perigee, and there will be a lunar eclipse. This means that it is ideally situated between the Earth and the sun. As a result, the sun's light illuminates the moon with a reddish tint that looks spectacular on a clear night.
There was a spectacular Blood Moon back in April. Scientists are expecting this Blood Moon to, pardon the pun, eclipse the April one and it should appear about 5% bigger in size. This naturally means that it will be so prominent that it could distract from the meteor shower.