What to expect from October meteor showers


According to several reports, the annual Draconid meteor shower is expected to generate around eight shooting stars every hour starting Tuesday. While this shower is generally less active than most, producing about 2 to 10 meteors per hour, it still provides a handsome sight for stargazers across the state.

The Draconid meteor shower arrives each year in October when Earth passes through the tail of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. Although about 10 meteors per hour can be spotted during its peak, it was previously known for producing hundreds to even thousands of hourly meteors.

Shooting stars from the Draconids appear to come from just below bright star Eltanin in Draco the dragon's head.

Like always, the visibility of meteor showers relies on a number of factors, including weather conditions and the location of the stargazer.

The moon will "likely drown all but the brightest meteors in its glare", EarthSky said.

Neither meteor shower is expected to be much to get excited about this year with only a few meteors visible per hour.

Stargazers will be in for a treat as not one, but two meteor showers light up the night sky on consecutive nights this week.

According to current weather forecasts, much of the US will have cloud-free conditions during the peak of the Draconids.

The Draconids meteor shower radiates from near the constellation Draco.

If you live in an urban area, you might want to take a drive to avoid city lights, which can make the meteor shower seem faint.

You can use timeanddate.com's Interactive Meteor Show Sky Map to find the current direction of a meteor shower in the sky. "Recent displays have produced low to average displays of this shower". Unfortunately, the large bright evening moon will hinder this 12 months' Draconid shower.

This meteor shower is the result of the earth passing through or near the path of comet 21p.

In the case of the Orionids, this debris comes from Halley's comet, while the Taurids are caused by material which originated from the comet 2P/Encke. Before these small pieces enter the atmosphere, they are known as "meteoroids".