Feast your eyes on the sky this evening, as the Draconid meteor shower is forecasted to bring shooting stars tonight and tomorrow night. Stargazers in North America, Asia and Europe will have the best chance to see the meteors, which are only visible between dusk and midnight.
The Draconid meteor shower occurs every October, when the constellation Draco the Dragon appears highest in the sky, according to CNET. The phenomenon is a normal part of the Earth’s rotation, and happens when the planet passes through debris left by the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.
Meteor showers usually appear in the wee hours of the morning, but this one is obviously different, meaning it will probably catch a few unwitting people off guard as they leave work or eat dinner outside. Viewers in the northern hemisphere will have the best chance at seeing a great show.
This particular shower has been historically huge, with hundreds of shooting stars streaking across the sky in 2011. This year is supposed to be a bit calmer, though, with meteorologists predicting about 10-20 meteorites per hour, notes Conde Nast Traveler.
Early autumn has been quite the time for meteorological phenomena: in September, a harvest moon wowed viewers across Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia, combining with a penumbral lunar eclipse for a visual spectacle. Also last month, a rare black moon reared itself for the first time in two years. And the northern lights have also been particularly brilliant for the people of Iceland.
So if you find yourself bored for any reason tonight, treat yourself by tilting your head up. You won’t be disappointed.