Draconid meteor shower is this weekend

Cropped Photo: Courtesy: NASA

If you're neither a night owl nor an early riser, the upcoming Draconid meteor shower might be a good one for you to check out.

Unlike many showers, which offer the best viewing in the hours before dawn, the Draconids are best observed this year just after dark.

This weekend, a waning but still-bright gibbous moon will interfere with dark skies, but this October shower is still an easy one to enjoy.

Saturday and Sunday, October 7 and 8, 2017 are the likely best days to watch. Close to nightfall on those nights, set up a comfy spot outside, under dark skies if you can, face north toward the constellation of Draco the dragon (where the shower gets its name from), and look up.

The best spot will be away from city lights, with an unobstructed view of the sky. Dress for the weather, and bring water (or hot cocoa) and snacks.

If that's too much trouble, if you just take some time to look up at the skies Saturday or Sunday night, you might just see a shooting star .

A dazzling show is not expected this year, though there have been hundreds or even thousands of meteors visible per hour (a rare event called a meteor storm) in past Draconid showers.

If you see a Draconid meteor, you're likely seeing a piece of debris the size of a grain of sand, from Comet 21P/Giacobini/Ziner, as it collides with Earth's atmosphere.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off