We have several meteor showers coming up – though please don’t believe the press hype about massive fireballs as bright as the moon, thats not really likely. I’d be delighted if you saw one though and if you do, please do let me know and send pics if you have them.
The Camelopardalids (international code OCT) peak tonight (6th October). This is a minor shower with a rate of around five per hour but with the radiant high in the north east, you may spot some despite a 60% Moon. They’re quite fast moving.
The Southern Taurids (STA) have actually been going on since mid Sept and will continue to mid Nov, though they have a weak maximum on the 9th of October. Peak rates are around five an hour, though unless you live on a hilltop with a 360 degree horizon you are not going to see that many. Southern Taurids do produce slow-moving fireballs but the 86% Moon will make it hard to see faint meteors.
The Draconids (DRA) are a short-lived shower (6-10th Oct) with a peak rate of around ten per hour. Again moonlight will interfere with visibility though the radiant is high in the north west which improves your chances.
The Orionids (ORI) peak on 21st October, but are already in progress and will go on till early November. Peak rates are officially about 20, but a 45% Moon will drown out faint ones, and the radiant doesn’t rise till around 11pm in the UK so I reckon five an hour would be more likely. Orionids are usually quite fast moving.
Finally later in October the Northern Taurids (NTA) kick off and continue through to December. These are very similar to the Southern Taurids, but the Moon will be nearly full at the peak of 11th Nov, so you’re more likely to see something in late October when the radiant will be high in the south east after sunset and the Moon won’t interfere.
When making a report of a fireball, please include the date+time, your location, direction in which you saw the object, and rough direction it was going in. This can help us link it to other sightings, and maybe even work out more about the meteoroid that caused it. You can also use the link on our website which submits a report to the International Meteor Organization.