How to See the Draconid Meteor Shower Tonight

A purple night sky with flashes of meteors travelling across it. Text in the centre of the image says

Spot a Shooting Star in the Sky Tonight!

As we enter the month of October, the night sky is ready to put on a dazzling display with the annual Draconid meteor shower about to grace our atmosphere. In this blog post, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about this meteor shower, including how to witness it, what exactly the Draconids are, where to get the best view and when this amazing event is set to occur.

What is the Draconid Meteor Shower?

The Draconid Meteor Shower, previously referred to as the Giacobinids, is an annual celestial event that takes place during October in the Northern Hemisphere. It's named the Draconids as the meteors appear to come from near the stars in the Draco constellation, but what exactly causes this meteor shower?

A graphic showing the Earth orbiting the Sun, with a trail of comet debris crossing over part of the orbit path. Text at the bottom of the image reads: "Earth will pass through the debris left by Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner in its orbit."

The Draconids occur when Earth passes through the debris left behind by a comet called 21P/Giacobini-Zinner as it travels through our solar system. Although it has a diameter of 1.24 miles, the comet is considered to be small and it orbits the Sun every 6.6 years. When Earth crosses paths with the comet’s debris, it results in a beautiful meteor shower with leftover fragments of the comet burning up in our atmosphere, creating bright streaks of light in the night sky.

How to See the Draconid Meteor Shower

The Draconid meteor shower provides the perfect opportunity for both novice and experienced stargazers to witness a celestial event. Here’s how you can make the most of the shower:

  • Find a dark location: To fully appreciate the Draconid shower, head to the darkest location possible. Light pollution can affect your visibility of the meteor shower, so aim to visit rural locations or designated dark-sky areas.
  • No equipment needed: This meteor shower is visible to the naked eye, so you don’t need to bring binoculars or a telescope. For the best experience, give your eyes around 30 minutes to adjust to being in the dark (no peeking at your phone!)
  • Get comfy: Meteor showers involve you being outside and looking up at the sky for at least an hour or two, so be sure to prepare yourself for the night-time adventure. Make sure to wear warm clothes and bring a hot drink with you, particularly in the chilly autumn air. You may also wish to bring a deckchair, as this will make it easier for you to sit up while still looking up at the sky.

An illustration of two people in warm clothes watching a meteor shower across a snowy field whilst sitting in deck chairs.

The Best Time to See the Draconid Meteor Shower

The best time to observe the Draconid meteor shower is during the evening of October 8th to the early hours of October 9th. During this period, the point of the Draco constellation the shower appears to originate from will be at its highest in the sky. However, although they won’t be as bright, the meteor shower can still be seen throughout the October 6th to 10th timeframe.

A graphic showing the point of origin of the Draconids from within the Draco constellation. Text at the top of the image says:

At Star Name Registry, we love celebrating the night sky and the wonders it holds. Just as the Draconid meteor shower graces the sky, you too can commemorate special moments in both the night sky and your life by naming a star in the Draco constellation. Imagine having a star twinkling in the vast cosmos, a representation of your curious mind and love for someone special.

With Draco’s stars being visible all year round from the Northern Hemisphere, naming a star in this constellation is a highly recommended gift. If you’re not quite ready to name a star, be sure to sign up to our mailing list in the meantime! Not only will you receive a code for 10% off your order with us, but you’ll also have exclusive access to our upcoming Black Friday deals, allowing you to give the gift of a star to your loved ones at an unbelievably low price!

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to connect with the universe and the wonders it holds and to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Name a star with us and let your love travel across the universe like a shooting star.