Autumn and winter are my favorite times of year because of the spectacular light shows that take place in our skies. One of the most stunning of the bunch is the Draconid meteor shower.
The Draconid meteor shower, sometimes called the Giacobinids, get their name due to the way they seem to originate in the mouth of the northern constellation Draco the Dragon.
The meteor shower is best viewed from northern latitudes in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia.Their peak is October 8th. They can produce hundreds, sometimes up to a thousand, meteors per hour!
One of the perks of the Draconid shower is that it tends to begin much earlier in the night, so there’s no need to stay up until 3:00AM to see them at their peak.
The best way to see the Draconid meteor shower is far away from any lights. Try driving far outside of your city or town where there are no artificial lights.
It also helps to keep your cell phone in your pocket, as viewing it during the shower can make it harder for your eyes to adjust to the dark.
The Draconid shower is only one of three other meteor showers this month. The Taurids peak on the 10th of October, and the Orionids on the 21st.
The Taurids are an annual meteor shower caused by the tail of the comet Encke, a comet that orbits the sun every 3 years but reflects very little light so is seldom seen. The Taurids seem to emanate from the constellation Taurus.
The Orionids peak slightly later in the month. The Orionids are caused by the dust cloud of Halley’s Comet.
This shower will peak in the pre-dawn hours of October 21st, though the moon may make it difficult to see. Still, if you look toward the east toward the constellation Orion the Hunter, you should see a few meteors.