Draconid meteor shower 2022: What is it, when can I see it in Liverpool - Met Office weather forecast

The Draconid Meteor Shower is set to light up the sky in Merseyside
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Shooting stars could light up the Liverpool sky this week with the Draconid meteor shower scheduled to make an appearance.

Of course, they are not your typical stars but debris from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner as it orbits the sun.

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Every October, the Earth passes through fragments which produce flares of light as they ignite in our atmosphere.

While stargazers are predicting only a few meteors per hour this time around, the shower has surprised astronomists in the past, delivering a splendid show of seemingly never-ending flares.

Here’s all you need to know about the Draconid meteor shower and how to view it in Liverpool:

What is a Meteor Shower?

According to the National Geographic, a meteor shower is a cluster of space rocks burning up as they plummet through Earth’s atmosphere.

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These small rocks are known as meteoroids and as they heat up, the gas surrounding they will glow brightly and give it its ‘shooting star’ like quality.

At the heart of a meteor shower is an icy comet. When the comet enters our solar system this heats up and forms into a gas. During this process, the comet will release dust, rocks, and stones.

National Geographic writes:  “With each orbit, that process creates a stream of debris along the comet’s path that persists long after the dirty iceball has headed back out to the edges of the solar system.”

When does the Draconid meteor shower peak?

According to the Royal Museums Greenwich, the Draconid "tends to be a less active meteor shower" which occurs in October for the Northern hemisphere.

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This year, the Draconid is set to peak around October 8-9. Although, you may still have the chance to see it a couple of days before the peak and possibly the day after too, before it disappears altogether until next year.

What is the Met Office forecast for the Draconid meteor shower in Liverpool?

The Met office has forecast clear intervals this evening but with thick cloud appearing during the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Toward the end of the week, a band of rain and wind is set to move into the North-west region but visibility remains ‘very good’. The sky will be partially cloudy but occasionally clear.

Best spots near Liverpool to view the Draconid Meteor Shower

Sefton Park: The 200-acre park features the stunning Palm House which wouldn’t be the worst place in the world to be as shooting stars migrate across the sky.

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Leighton Observatory: Granted this is a short drive from Liverpool to Widnes but truly worth it to escape the light pollution of the city and take advantage of the centre’s facilities.

Hesketh Park Observatory: This Merseyside observatory is steeped in history and offers fantastic views of the night sky. However, they might not always be open to the public so it’s best to check ahead via the GoStargazing website.

Crosby beach: Stargazing by the coast can bring wide, open sightlines without the pollution of the built-up urban city. Give Crosby a go.

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