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The Draconid meteor shower is back! The meteor shower returns to night skies every October and this year Monday and Tuesday nights are expected to be the best time to watch.
This year the Draconids are expected to be the most active and best viewed around sunset Monday, according to USA Today. The Draconids are unusual for meteor showers, which are usually best just before sunrise. However, the Draconids are slow moving and are better after sunset.
The Draconids are the remains, comprised of dust and ice particles, from a comet that circles the sun every six and a half years.
Los Angeles Times notes the comet is called Giacobini-Zinner and the Draconids are often better than other showers because the slow moving bits of dust and ice leave a longer observable light trail.
But the Draconids aren't always that impressive, with maybe only a couple every hour being witnessed some years. Other times, there is an amazing show, such as in 2011, when at one point 660 meteors were seen per hour. NASA's Bill Cooke said at the time, "Most years we just pass through gaps between filaments. ... Occasionally, though, we hit one nearly head on - and the fireworks begin."
The website suggests the best way to observe the Draconids meteor shower is to lie down with your feet pointing north and expect to spend an hour or so to just stare at the sky. The best views are expected to be those living in either the far northern or middle latitudes.
Will you be watching tonight or tomorrow?
image: Wikimedia Commons