Look for draconid meteor showers early in the evening or at night. This you don’t have to stay up after midnight to see it.
However, the Draconid meteorite is on the smaller side. Expect to see some meteors flying across the sky within an hour.
The Draconid meteor shower was created by debris from comet 21P / Giacobini-Zinner. The shower gets its name because the meteorites appear to be coming from the direction of the Dragon Draco constellation.
Astronomer Jeremy Faubilon predicted that Earth would pass near two comet paths produced by this comet. Astronomer Peter Jenneskins predicted that the Earth would pass these paths at 01:25 UTC and 01:57 UTC on October 7, 9:25 PM and 9:57 PM ET.
This means that star-watchers along the eastern coast of North America will have the best view. While people in the tropics of the Southern Hemisphere will also be able to see them, the showers will appear even lower, according to the American Meteorological Association.
Draconid meteors move slower than those seen during other showers, which means they can last for a second or two. And the waning moon, which means that it is in an intermediate stage as it becomes less visible, will rise later in the evening, which will allow for a better view of faded meteorites once night falls.
Although this is a “sleeping” shower compared to some of the biggest showers later this year, the dragon could be full of surprises. Stargazers saw thousands of meteors an hour during that shower in 1933 and 1946 and hundreds in 2011, according to EarthSky.
The best way to witness a meteor shower is to sit in a reclining lawn chair, or lie on your back and gaze at the sky with a wide view. No special equipment is needed, but if you want the best view, it pays to be away from artificial light as much as possible.
If you live in an urban area, you may want to drive to avoid city lights, which can make meteor showers appear dim. Scientists from NASA also said that camping in the country can triple the amount of visible meteors.
And don’t forget to take your camera before heading out. Meteor showers are a great opportunity for time-lapse videos and long exposure photography.
More meteor showers are on the way
If you’re freaked out by Draconids or bad weather obscures your view, there are more meteor showers to look forward to.
Gemini will peak later this month on the nights of October 20 and 21. Southern Taurids will follow on the evenings of October 29 and 30, but the moon will be 98% full, which means that these rains will likely be difficult to see.
November has Northern Torres and Leonids, and it peaks on the nights of November 11-12 and November 16-17, respectively.
We end the year with the Geminids and Ursids on evenings of December 13-14 and December 21-22 respectively.
The year 2021 begins with a quadruple meteor shower, and peaks on the nights of January 2 and 3.