The next six weeks will be full of great nights if you like meteor showers, with the Draconids, Orionids, and Leonids visible over October and November.
The Draconids are peaking tomorrow, Friday October 7, with the Slooh community observatory doing a special broadcast live at 8pm EDT (1am BST Saturday). They can be best seen in the Northern Hemisphere from after sunset to midnight, when Draco is at its highest point in the sky.
This shower is named after the constellation of Draco, the dragon, where they appear to originate from. The meteors are the debris left over by Comet 21/P Giaconi-Zinner, which orbits the Sun every 6.6 years. In 2011, up to 1,000 Draconid meteors per hour were visible in the sky.
But that's not all. We'll also be treated to the Orionids, which come from the homonymous constellation of Orion, and can be seen from both hemispheres. They are actually already visible but will peak, like every year, on October 21. They are the fragments left over by Halley’s comet, which orbits around the Sun every 76 years.
The Orionids will still be visible until the first week of November, when sky-gazers' attention will turn to the Leonids. The peak of this meteor shower, named after the constellation Leo from where they emerge, will be around November 17. The shower can be seen from both hemispheres.
If you want to watch the Slooh broadcast for the Draconids, tune in below.
You can go to Slooh.com to join and watch this live broadcast, snap and share your own photos during the event, chat with audience members and interact with the hosts, and personally control Slooh’s telescopes.