One of the best things about a stay in The Queen Bee Shepherd’s hut, is that you have a great view of the heavens.  Previous guests have seen and experienced fantastic horizons and astronomical phenomena. From guests who saw a double rainbow, to  Frank Fey, who experienced the super blue moon, to Christoph Gabriel who saw the big dipper constellation.  What more can you see on this spacious shepherd’s hut? Well, you may be able to view the Draconid meteor shower.

Draconid Meteor Shower 2023

Here at Newsround, we enjoy monitoring the sky’s activity. The Draconids and the Orionids, which occur early and late in the month of October respectively, are two exceptional meteor showers that delight our skies every year. The Draconid meteor shower will be most visible on Sunday and Monday evenings this year, falling between Friday, October 6, and Monday, October 10. Only the northern hemisphere, or the northern half of the Earth, may see the Draconid meteor shower, which is on the smaller side. Nevertheless, a few meteors should still be visible streaking across the sky. Which portion of the comet’s tail the Earth’s orbit crosses each year determines the frequency of meteors during the peak of the shower. So what is it exactly? What are your chances of viewing it the best? You’re covered by Newsround, so don’t worry.

How do meteors work?

Comets spew out ice and rock fragments as they travel around the Sun, and these are known as meteors. These tiny fragments, which can be as small as a sand grain, can produce dazzling streaks of light in the night sky that are known as shooting stars as they burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

What do Draconids look like?

The constellation Draco, which means “the Dragon,” and the Draconoid meteor shower are both named after your favorite evil guy from Harry Potter, Draco Malfoy. When the Earth passes through a cloud of cometary debris, meteor showers are produced. In this instance, the comet 21 P/Giacobini-Zinner’s debris is the source of the Draconid meteor shower. The meteors enter the atmosphere at incredible speeds, from around 11 km per second to 72 km per second. Every year in the first part of October, Earth comes very close to this comet’s orbit.

When should I watch?

The Draconids can be full of surprises, even though this is a modest display in comparison to some of the bigger showers later in the year. According to astronomy experts EarthSky, stargazers observed thousands of meteors per hour in 1933 and 1946 and only a few hundred in 2011.

The Draconids are actually best observed in the early evening, after the sun has set, in contrast to the majority of other meteor showers, which are best viewed in the morning.

What is the best way to view the Draconid meteor shower?

Observing the Draconid meteor shower is best when you:

Avoiding direct sources of light in your eyes, such as street lights and lights from homes and buildings, and selecting a location with a nice, clear view of the stars and as few clouds as possible

Wrap up warmly. Your eyes should be able to see the meteor shower just as well as a telescope or pair of binoculars.