There are TWO meteor showers streaking across the night’s sky this month

The Orionids and the Draconids are here to brighten up October

Ellie Walker-Arnott
meteor shower
Photograph: Shutterstock

In the Northern Hemisphere, this time of year can feel a little disheartening. Summer has swiftly disappeared, leaving chillier temperatures and longer nights. Thankfully, though, you don’t need to wait for December’s twinkly lights to brighten up the darkness. 

As well as being gifted with TWO full moons (one of which is a rare Halloween ‘blue moon’), October 2020 will see two meteor showers lighting up the night’s sky too. 

Stargazers should keep their eyes peeled skywards for the Orionid and Draconid meteor showers. The Draconids, best seen in the Northern Hemisphere, peak this week on October 7, although they will be visible until October 10. They are one for patient watchers, as usually you can expect to see only around five shooting stars an hour. However, the best time to see them is in the evening, shortly after nightfall – so you won’t need to stay up late to get your fix. 

Later in the month, the Orionids will peak. These meteors are visible all over the world, and have in fact already started. These shooting stars streak though the sky from early October until around November 7 – peaking around October 21.

Best seen in the dark hours before dawn, you can expect to see up to 20 an hour at the shower’s peak. Known as the Orionids because they appear to originate from the Orion constellation, these burning balls are actually debris left behind by Comet Halley. 

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Into the night’s sky? Here are the celestial events you need to know about in 2020

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