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Meteor shower to brighten B.C. skies starting Saturday

File Photo (Source: iStock)

The Draconid meteor shower starts Saturday, and peaks Monday

Seeing the shower depends on having clear skies

The meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through an area of space with a cluster of meteors

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Cross your fingers for a clear sky on Monday night.

The Draconid meteor shower is expected to start Saturday and continue for the following few days.

Bill Burnyeat, the resident astronomer at BCIT, says Monday will likely be the peak.

He says it’s best to get away from any artificial light and look north.

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Not having a bright moon will also help make the meteors easier to see.

“If there is clear skies, then you could see three or four or maybe five shooting stars at the peak,” he says.”Artificial illumination will make it more difficult to see them.”

However, if it’s cloudy and raining that night — which is predicted at this point – we won’t see anything.

He says the Draconids happen every October at about this time when the earth moves through an area with a dense group of meteors that are circling the sun. Some of them enter the earth’s atmosphere and burn up.

That’s what people will see looking up into the night sky over the weekend.

“It’s a small bit of rock, but when it bursts in the earth’s atmosphere by the friction with the air, then it makes a very bright signature,” he says. “It gives the impression of something that might be bigger, but you’re actually looking at a very small peice of solar system real estate.”