Draconids – A Meteoric Event

The October Draconids, in the past also unofficially known as the Giacobinids, are a meteor shower whose parent body is the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. They are named after the constellation Draco, where they seemingly come from.

Comet 21P/ Giacobini-Zinner is a small comet with a diameter of 1.24 miles (2 kilometers). This comet takes about 6.6 years to orbit the Sun once. The last time comet Giacobini-Zinner reached perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) was on Feb. 11, 2012. The next perihelion passage will be in 2018.

Each time that Giacobini-Zinner returns to the inner solar system its nucleus sprays ice and rock into space. This debris stream results in an annual meteor shower: the Draconids, which take place each year in early October.

As its an annual event it makes it less special for some but it does provide an opportunity to hopefully see a meteor shower every year, why would you not want to try and watch it rather than hope you might see something on TV or the Internet, nothing quite replaces an in the moment experience.

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