Draconid Meteor Watch

Monday, October 8th 2007, 12:49 pm
By: News On 6

METEOR WATCH: The annual Draconid meteor shower peaks on Oct. 9th at 0430 UT--in other words, tonight at 9:30 pm PDT or 12:30 am EDT. Don't expect a big display. The source of the shower, comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, is far away and unlikely to produce more than a few slow meteors every hour. It should be noted, however, that unexpected Draconid outbursts have happened as recently as Oct. 2005 resulting in dozens to hundreds of meteors per hour. Could tonight be such a night? If you decide to look, keep an eye on the northern sky (Draco is not far from the north celestial pole) during the hours around the predicted peak.

PERUVIAN METEORITE UPDATE: Astronomers studying the Peruvian meteorite fall of Sept. 15, 2007, have analyzed infrasound records of the fireball's descent through Earth's atmosphere and estimated the impactor's kinetic energy: about 0.03 kton of TNT. So far more than 30 kg of the meteorite have been recovered by Peruvian authorities, but much more remains--indeed, says one researcher, there could be a "multi-ton monster" hiding at the bottom of the meteorite's curiously watery crater. Check http://spaceweather.com for more information.