The night sky is one of Earth's most beautiful natural wonders — there's just something about the twinkle of the moon & stars amongst the inky darkness of the sky that is seriously enchanting. The sky is about to get even more breathtaking this month with 2 stunning meteor showers visible in Florida.
Floridians will be able to see the Draconids shower rain down from the Draco the Dragon constellation tonight. While this shower is generally less active than most, producing about 2 to 10 meteors per hour, it still provides a beautiful sight for stargazers across the state.
The Draconids shower has been active since October 6th, however, its peak with very good visibility is expected to be seen tonight at 8:36 p.m. into the early hours of October 9th, with the shower's visibility dissipating around 3 a.m. according to TimeandDate.com.
Later this month, another meteoric display will also bless the Florida skies. The Orionids shower is expected to peak with excellent viewing conditions on the evening of October 21st at 11:15 p.m., running into the early hours of October 22nd; visibility is expected to drop off at 12:28 a.m., raining down from the Orion constellation where it gets its name.
This shower is the 2nd shower of the year created by the dust of Halley's Comet, with the first being the Eta Aquarids that happened back in May.
Visibility for both showers is expected to be above average, but will be slightly reduced due to high moon radiance; if you venture out away from light pollution you should still be able to see the star show shooting across the sky.
Of course, a little luck (and playing of the waiting game) is always involved in viewing any meteor shower, especially if you're looking to capture it on camera. Sharpen up your long exposure photography skills and get set up early for the best shot of capturing the spectacle.
It's suggested to arrive at your viewing point 15-20 minutes prior to the peak to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness, to dress for the weather, and lay looking up to the constellation where the meteor showers will rain from for the best viewing conditions.
It's always best to go somewhere with minimal light pollution to do any stargazing. If you're looking for a couple of places to view these fantastic meteor showers, this state park is one of the best places to go stargazing and for seeing the Milkyway, or check out one of the 7 best places for stargazing in Florida.
You can check to see if these meteor showers will be visible near you through timeanddate's website here.