Here’s How To Watch The Draconid Meteor Shower

The Draconid meteor shower is set to make its annual October appearance later this week, peaking on the evenings of Oct. 8 and 9 starting at nightfall.

A new moon on Oct. 13 will create near-ideal viewing conditions.

The Draconids, once called Giacobinids, are meteors that take their name from the northern constellation Draco the Dragon. From the perspective of someone on earth, the meteors appear to originate from a point near the dragon’s head, according to science blog EarthSky.

Stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere are expected to have the best view, since Draco is located so far up in the northern sky. The best places to view the Draconids will be in areas like the northern United States, Canada, Europe and northern Asia.

The comet that causes the Draconids — formally known as periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner — orbits the sun once approximately every six and a half years. The meteor shower occurs when the earth collides with bits of of dust and debris in the comets’ wake, according to NASA.

Though the comet typically produces only a few meteors per hour, European observers saw roughly 600 meteors per hour in 2011 — even with a bright moon.

EarthSky recommends getting away from glowing city lights to get the best view (rural skywatchers are just fine). And if you miss the Draconids, don’t fret: A second meteor shower, the Orionids, is expected to debut before dawn on Oct. 22.

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14 DIY Halloween Costumes For Science Geeks

Instead of buying a pricey Halloween costume and later regretting it, why not make your own this year?

Just scroll down to see 14 of our favorite science-themed costumes that are easy and cheap to make. They’re perfect for the office party that you forgot was happening, or for handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. Happy Halloween!

1. Nikola Tesla

Grab a suit, draw on a mustache and strike the classic pose.

2. Bill Nye The Science Guy

A simple blue lab coat and red bow tie will make you surprisingly recognizable.

3. Neil deGrasse Tyson

A vest covered in planets and stars makes you a Tyson doppelganger.

4. A Classic Mad Scientist

Gloves, a colorful “chemical” mixture and some frizzy hair complete this costume.

5. Pluto

If you can’t snag a silver globe costume in time, go for a cardboard sandwich board setup, and don’t forget the heart.

6. CO2 Or White Blood Cells

Some IKEA round lampshades will make this costume a breeze. Add an egg crate bed pad for the lymphocyte look.

7. 404 Error

Computer science lovers just need a Sharpie and a T-shirt.

8. NASA Astronaut

All you need is duct tape, a gray sweatshirt and moon boots to mimic this look.

9. A Graduated Cylinder

You finally have a use for the graduation cap that you saved. Chemistry FTW.

Novel cybercatalog of flower-loving flies suggests the digital future of taxonomy

By providing a novel taxonomic ‘cybercatalog’ of the southern African flower-loving (apiocerid) flies, the authors demonstrate how the network of taxonomic knowledge can be made available through links to online data providers. The information is not only available to the reader, who follows the links, but also to machines making use of the growing number of digital online resources. —> Read More

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