Meteors flung through the lower reaches of space may be visible in remote parts of Riverside County tonight as the “Draconids” meteor shower arrives, providing a spectacular light show in the Northern
According to meteorologists, the Draconids, which are debris shed from the comet 21P Giacobini, provide perhaps the best meteor raining activity for the entire autumn season. Both EarthSky and AccuWeather indicate that parts of Southern California well east of Los Angeles where urban lighting is minimal, such as the Anza Valley and the desert expanse between Palm Springs and Blythe, may provide opportunities for viewing.
The cloud blankets associated with the frontal boundary sliding across the region and into Arizona could spoil views, but some of the cloud cover is expected to dissipate overnight, according to the National Weather Service.
NASA astronomers said that the Draconids draw their name from the constellation Draco, which the meteors appear to traverse.
The showers were first noticed in the early 1900s, and since then, they are glimpsed in the northern sky about every five or six years, NASA said. In 2011, European star gazers tallied 600 meteors per hour during one shower. However, tonight’s event is expected to produce only about five to 10 per hour, according to EarthSky.
The meteors are likely to appear just after dark and continue until the predawn hours. There is another viewing opportunity Saturday night, but it may not be as impressive, according to meteorologists.