If you want to see “shooting stars” this week just look to the northern night sky right after dark.
This week sees the peak of the Draconid meteor shower, an annual event that sees around 10 “shooting stars” per hour appear in the night sky.
Like all meteor showers, it’s best seen in dark skies and requires patience, but while most such displays are best viewed after midnight, there’s something very different about the Draconids.
The one can be viewed right after dark. In fact, it’s going to be at its best right through the night—and there’s a reason for that.
Here’s everything you need to know about seeing “shooting stars” during this peaks Draconid meteor shower.
What is the Draconid meteor shower?
Occurring from October 6-10, but peaking after dark midnight on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, the Draconid meteor shower is an annual event.
What causes the Draconid meteor shower?
It’s caused by a comet. Comets leave a trail meteoroids—debris and dust—as they travel through space. When a comet intersects Earth’s orbital path around the Sun it leaves meteoroids that Earth will inevitably have to travel through on its next orbit of the Sun.
The culprit this time is Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which was last in the Solar System in 2018 and will return again in 2025. So this is a meteor shower that gets frequently refreshed, though it’s a slight event compared to other meteor showers.
Why is it called the Draconid meteor shower?
Meteor showers are always named after the specific point of the night sky that its “shooting stars” appear