Draconid meteory shower to light up the skies

Penn State vs Purdue Oct. 5 2019

The Draconids are also best viewed near sunset and in the first few hours of night.

Next up after the Draconids is the Orionid meteor shower - named after the constellation of Orion and caused by Halley's Comet - which runs october 2 - November 7, with the peak night of activity on october 21 - 22.

When is the best time to look for shooting stars?

An outburst like this is not expected in 2019. Though the Draconid shower typically doesn't produce many meteors, it occasionally spits out hundreds per hour - as it did over Europe in 2011, EarthSky said.

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

Although the moon will be waxing and 78% illuminated - and only five days away from being a full Hunter's Moon - it will be relatively low in the southern sky, leaving the northern sky around Draco dark enough to see any shooting stars.

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In 1933 and 1946, the Draconid meteor showers had some of the most impressive "zenithal hourly rates" of the 20th century with thousands visible every hour.

Fireballs, also known as very bright meteors, streak across our sky when debris from a comet breaks up in our upper atmosphere. These fireballs can appear so bright, they cast shadows on the ground for several seconds. This won't be one you have to stay up past midnight to see. The Perseid meteor shower that we see in august shows a lot of meteors per hour, but they tend to be smaller because we see so many of them.

If you're away from the city lights on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 8, look up! Some suggest bringing a blanket or chair, as meteor-watching can be a waiting game.

From Sacramento to San Diego, people reported sightings of unusual, bright lights appearing to fall from the sky. But this isn't the case.

"You want to get as much sky in your field of view as possible", Samuhel said.

You can use timeanddate.com's Interactive Meteor Show Sky Map to find the current direction of a meteor shower in the sky. While the Orionids are expected to produce around 20 meteors per hour, there are still strategies for optimizing the viewing experience.

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