Skywatch: Look for meteors & the North Star this week

Skywatch: Look for meteors & the North Star this week
Courtesy: NASA

Saturn will reach a milestone early this week. On Monday the planet will reach something known as eastern quadrature. Saturn is a superior planet, which simply means it’s farther from the sun than Earth. When it reaches eastern quadrature it appears 90 degrees east of the sun when observed from Earth.

Finding Saturn

Saturn is visible in the southern sky in the evening. Use the moon to help you find it, it’ll be shining brightly just right of our satellite.

The Draconid Meteor Shower

Meteor watchers could get a treat this week as this Draconid meteor shower is expected to peak. Active from October 6 to the 10th the meteor shower is expected to peak in the evening of October 8th. The shower is caused by leftover debris from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner and is a minor one. Still if you can get far enough from city lights you could be treated to around 5 to maybe 10 slow-moving meteors per hour.

Finding Polaris

When you’re out this week look into the northern sky and you can use a famous asterism to help you locate the North Star. Look for the “Big Dipper”, the two stars that form the outside of the cup will point in nearly a strait line to Polaris, the North Star. Once you find true north you can find the other cardinal directions. Happy hunting!