Rare early evening Draconid meteor shower peaks Friday night


TOPSHOT – View of a shooting star (Draconid) and northern light near Skekarsbo at the Farnebofjardens national park 150 kilometers north of Stockholm, late on Oct. 8, 2011. (Photo by -/SCANPIX SWEDEN/AFP via Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS (KTVI) — Stargazers are in for a treat as the Draconid meteor shower peaks Friday evening across the Northern Hemisphere. EarthSky reports that, unlike many meteor showers, the Draconids are short-lived, with this one expected to last through Sunday.

Most of the display will occur in the evening rather than after midnight. EarthSky suggests using the Big Dipper to star-hop to the star Polaris. Polaris marks the end star in the handle of the Little Dipper. 

According to NASA, the Draconid meteors are caused when Earth collides with bits of debris shed by periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. This is why this shower used to be called the Giacobinids.

The Draconid does not usually produce a rich meteor shower. EarthSky said you can expect about 5 to 10 meteors per hour.

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