October Has a Meteor Shower Treat for Bozeman
Weather permitting, the Bozeman area will be able to see the Draconid meteor shower on the night between October 8th and 9th.
This will be the first of TWO meteor showers that will be visible in October. Exciting stuff! The Draconid meteor shower is also known as the Giacobinids, and it should be quite visible in the sky above southwest Montana, including Bozeman.
This particular meteor shower is well loved among astronomy buffs and with any luck, the weather will be crisp and clear. It can be a tricky one...displaying just a few meteors per hour or HUNDREDS per hour. Simply depends on the year. According to EarthSky.org:
The Draconid shower is a real oddity, in that the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls.
That means that, unlike many meteor showers, more Draconids are likely to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight.
This shower is usually a sleeper, producing only a handful of languid meteors per hour in most years.
But watch out if the Dragon awakes! In rare instances, fiery Draco has been known to spew forth many hundreds of meteors in a single hour.
That possibility keeps many skywatchers outside – even in moonlight – during this shower.
Sounds like it can be a crapshoot, but patience might be heavily rewarded. Feeling lucky this year? The evening of October 8th (into the 9th) is what we're planning for.
Founded in 1911, the American Meteor Society's purpose is "to observe, monitor, collect information, plot and report on meteors, meteoric fireballs, meteoric trains, and related meteoric phenomena." They supply fascinating information about all sorts of events in the sky, all over the world.