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Fox News Weather Center

First of Two October Meteor Showers to Peak Thursday as Draconids Shimmer in the Night Sky

Beginning in the evening hours of Oct. 8 and continuing through Oct. 9, the peak of the Draconid meteor shower will become visible to eager stargazers.

The Draconids are one of the more unique and unheralded meteor showers that occur throughout the year. What sets them apart from other events is that the best time to view them is around nightfall, as opposed to the predawn hours, according to Earthsky.

Due to their location near the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky, Draconids are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere, Earthsky states.

Viewing conditions will be enhanced as a waning crescent moon allows skies to be darker. For an optimal viewing experience, it's best to find a clear, open space away from artificial lighting.

The mid-Atlantic Seacoast, Tennessee Valley, northern Plains and Rockies will have clear weather to view the meteors. However, other parts of the United States won't be as fortunate due to inclement weather.

Showers, thunderstorms and clouds will impact viewing conditions from the Great Lakes region to northern New England and part of the central Plains, AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said.

A storm system spinning over Texas will bring a lot of clouds that will obscure the meteors, Root said. In the Northwest, a storm system delivering clouds and showers will be the primary reason for the poor visibility, he added.

Only a few meteors per hour can be expected, but there have been past occasions when hundreds or thousands of Draconids per hour have raced through the night sky, Earthsky states.

The Draconids come into view as Earth rotates through the orbital path of the Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. They can also be called the Giacobinids after the French astronomer Michel Giacobini, who discovered the comet in December 1900, according to Earthsky.

For those unable to catch a glimpse of the Draconids, the popular Orionids will peak later this month on Oct. 22.