Night Sky Gaze
Meteor Shower

Draconids Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

October 8 marks the peak of the activity of the Draconids Meteor Shower. Debris dropped by Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner began falling into the atmosphere on October 6, and the activity will continue to be visible in the sky until October 10.

When Can You See the Draconids Meteor Shower?

The Draconids meteor shower will be most visible just after the sun sets on the evening of October 8. In general, the Draconids shower is considered to be relatively minor, with less activity and only about five to ten meteors visible per hour.

The shower should be visible in the southeastern sky if you live in North America. If you’re looking for the right spot, it’s just southeast of the Draco constellation, close to the faint star Kuma.

What About the Southern Taurids?

Interestingly, the Southern Taurids, another meteor shower, will also be peaking on October 9. This means that during that evening, it will be possible to detect meteors from two different meteor showers at two different points in the sky!

The Southern Taurids began on September 10, and they will remain faintly visible in the sky until around November 20. Their peak activity is on October 9 and 10–though, even on these days, the meteor shower remains hard to detect with the naked eye. The Southern Taurids are also considered a minor meteor shower, with few objects detectable per hour compared to more major events.

The Southern Taurids, along with their siblings, the Northern Taurids, are created by debris from the comet 2P/Encke. As you might expect, they are called the Taurids as they appear to originate from the constellation Taurus.

Are There More Meteor Showers Coming in October?

Later in October, activity from the Orionids will peak. The Orionids, a meteor shower caused by debris from Haley’s comet, will peak on the evenings of October 21 and 22. Interestingly, the Orionids began on October 2, and will remain active until the evening of November 7.

Unlike the Draconids and the Southern Taurids, the Orionids are much more visible to casual observers and are considered a more major meteor shower event. The Orionids are so called as they appear to originate from a point near the constellation Orion.

Cameron Norris