Draconid meteor showers 2022: When are they visible and where to see them in and around Newcastle?

The clear skies over Newcastle and Northumberland may offer some amazing stargazing options this month.

Draconid meteor showers 2022: When are they visible and where to see them in and around Newcastle? (Photo by YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images)
Draconid meteor showers 2022: When are they visible and where to see them in and around Newcastle? (Photo by YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images)

Amateur and professional stargazers alike across the UK are looking forward to trying to get a good view of the Draconid meteor shower, which is expected to be visible over the UK in October, but what is the shower and what are the best conditions to see it?

What is the Draconid meteor Shower?

The meteor shower is well known among the stargazing community to be one of the key events across October. The event is made up of debris and dust from the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner as it orbits the sun.

The draconids is known as a minor meteor shower due to it only offering a dozen or so meteors every hour.

When will the Draconid meteor shower be at its peak?

The phenomenon is expected to run between Thursday, October 6 and Monday, October 10 with experts predicting the peak visibility and viewing to come on the night of Saturday, October 8.

While most showers throughout the year are best seen in the early hours of the morning, the Draconid is more accessible thanks to it being most visible in the evenings.

The UK Meteor Network says you don’t need any special equipment but a bit of preparation for finding a good spot is a good idea.

Where are the best spots in and around Newcastle to see the meteor shower?

Experts believe the best way to see the showern in with a perfect horizon, so very flat landscapes such as coastline offer optimal viewing.

so the best chances to get a clear view of the shower will be away from the city centre where any artificial light will impact the quality of the view, as will the taller buildings across the city.

High points are often seen as top picks too – with Tyneside being fairly flat, anyone looking for the best views of the meteors will need to head further afield.

Leaving the city on the A69 offers good options, with Horsley Hill and higher hills around Heddon being perfect for avoiding light pollution, especially looking away from Newcastle.

Heading north rather than west could also serve some naked eye astronomers well thanks to higher points across Northumberland. The county’s National Park offers the most pristine night skies across the UK.

What will the weather be in the North East for the meteor shower?

The Met Office may not be predicting optimal conditions for those wanting to see a meteor, although it may still be possible between clouds on evenings towards the end of the week.

On the night of the peak chance of seeing the shower, the weather service is expecting clear skies from sunset throughout the night, although this may be set to change in the coming days. Thursday and Friday evenings are expected to remain cloudy while clouds may obscure views on Sunday evening.

What other meteor showers are expected to be seen in October?

Throughout this month the Orionid meteor shower will also be seen in the sky. This can be expected to run between Sunday, October 2 and Monday, November 7. It will come from dust of Halley’s Comet and will peak on Friday, October 21 and Saturday, October 22.