http://spaceweather.com/


THE PARENT OF THE DRACONID METEOR SHOWER: On Oct. 7th, Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, source of the annual Draconid meteor shower. Usually the shower is weak, producing no more than 5 or 10 meteors per hour. Could 2018 be better than usual? Maybe, because the comet itself is relatively nearby.

"I caught Giacobini-Zinner as it was moving across the Milky Way between Gemini and Orion," says Chambó. "That's the Monkey Head Nebula (NGC 2174) just above the comet." His photo beautifully captures the comet's tail, spewing meteoroids which could one day become Draconid meteors in the atmosphere of Earth.

Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which swings through the inner solar system every 6.6 years, made its latest close approach to the sun (perihelion) on Sept. 10th. That's significant because years around perihelion sometimes bring an extra dose of Draconids. Forecasters don't expect such a surge this year, but surprises are possible from this notoriously bursty shower. The nearly new Moon will provide a velvety-dark backdrop for any meteors that do appear during the night of Oct. 7-8. On your calendar, mark those dates "Draconids!?"