What is the Draconid meteor shower, when does it happen and how can I see it in 2023?
The Draconid meteor shower tends to be a less active meteor shower and occurs in October in the Northern hemisphere.
In 2023 the Draconid meteor shower will be active 6-10 October and will peak around 8-9 October, best seen in the evening.
Meteor showers are caused when the Earth travels through a cloud of cometary debris. In this case, the Draconid meteor shower comes from the debris of comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner.
The rate of meteors during the shower's peak depend upon which part of the comet's trail the Earth orbit intersects on any given year. In recent years, the Draconids have not produced any particular outbursts in activity. However, in 1933 and 1946 the Draconid meteor shower produced some of the most active displays in the 20th Century.
Find out the difference between an asteroid, a comet, a meteor, and a meteorite.
DATE OF MAXIMUM
Associated with Comet 21 P/ Giacobini-Zinner
Find out more about other meteors and meteorites around the year
While most other meteor showers are best seen in the early hours, the Draconids are best seen in the evening, after nightfall.
Meteor showers are best seen with a good, clear view of the stars on a night with no clouds. Try to find somewhere with dark skies, an unobstructed horizon and very little light pollution.
The whole Draconid meteor shower in 2023 occurs at Last Quarter of the Moon and a few days later, so observing conditions are reasonable.
Make sure there are no direct sources of light in your eyes, so that you can fully adapt to the local conditions and ensure that fainter meteors become visible. There’s no advantage to using binoculars or a telescope; just look up with your own eyes to take in the widest possible view of the sky.
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