If you’re looking to start your weekend off on an astronomical note, the Draconid meteor shower should offer some decent entertainment. Sometimes referred to as the Giacobinids, the meteor shower’s peak will occur Friday night, but it's best observed during the early evening hours, according to EarthSky.
The meteor shower “radiates” from the constellation Draco the Dragon. The date also coincides with a wide waxing crescent moon, however, which might make viewing the meteor shower a bit of a challenge.
The Draconid meteor shower is one of two meteor showers to take place in October. The other is the Orionids. Although actually viewing the Draconid meteor shower can be a hit or a miss, and especially with Friday night's waxing crescent moon, the shower could be difficult to see. However, EarthSky reported that Europe, Asia, Canada and North America (really anyplace situated in far-northern latitudes), are the best locations to observe the shower.
For best viewing time, check out the meteor shower just after the sun sets, prior to nightfall. To fully maximize your viewing potential, it’s best to head out of the city and be away from artificial light and pollution. Be sure to bring a blanket and lawn chair and set up camp wherever there’s a great, unobstructed view of the sky.
If you’re viewing the shower at its peak hours, you should not need any eye-enhancing equipment, Time and Date reports. A chart documenting the time and position for optimal viewing will be continuously updated.
While no one particular direction is required, astronomers suggest finding the “Draco the Dragon’s” two brightest stars, which are Rastaban and Eltanin, according to Time and date.
If you do miss the shower Friday night, another prime viewing time is the Saturday evening.
Can’t make it out of the city? Slooh will be live streaming the meteor shower on its website beginning at 8 p.m. EDT. Click here to watch the meteor shower live online.