Stargazers have two opportunities to watch meteor showers this month: the Dracnoid and Orionids.
If you missed the Dracnoid show on during it's peak on Sunday and Monday, you still have a chance on Tuesday. Look up to the skies and you might see a second showing of the Dracnoid meteor shower:
"The radiant point for the Draconid meteor shower almost coincides with the head of the constellation Draco the Dragon in the northern sky. That’s why the Draconids are best viewed from the Northern Hemisphere. The Draconid shower is a real oddity, in that the radiant point stands highest in the sky as darkness falls. Unlike many meteor showers, the Draconids are more likely to fly in the evening hours than in the morning hours after midnight. This shower is usually a sleeper, producing only a handful of languid meteors per hour in most years. But watch out if the Dragon awakes! In rare instances, fiery Draco has been known to spew forth many hundreds of meteors in a single hour. With no moon to interfere during the evening hours, try watching at nightfall and early evening on Oct. 7 and 8," says EarthSky News.
Orionids on On Oct. 21
Before dawn it's the Orionids turn.
"With the waxing crescent moon setting before midnight (on Oct. 20), that means a dark sky between midnight and dawn, or during the best viewing hours for the Orionid meteors. On a dark, moonless night, the Orionids exhibit a maximum of about 15 meteors per hour. These fast-moving meteors occasionally leave persistent trains and bright fireballs. If you trace these meteors backward, they seem to come from the Club of the famous constellation Orion the Hunter. You might know Orion’s bright, ruddy star Betelgeuse. The radiant is north of Betelgeuse. The Orionids have a broad and irregular peak that isn’t easy to predict. More meteors tend to fly after midnight, and the Orionids are typically at their best in the wee hours before dawn. The best viewing for the Orionids in 2012 will probably be before dawn on October 21," says EarthSky News.
If you happen to catch any great photos, send them to Sarasota@Patch.com and we will post them.
It's also a very active time in space right now. If you're having trouble with certain radio, cell phone or GPS communication, it's due to a very active and large geomagnetic storm, or an Aurora, that covers much of Canada and hovering over northern Maine.
If you want to learn more about the friendly skies, visit the two local astronomy clubs, Tampa-based Museum Astronomical Resource Society and Fort Myers-based Southwest Florida Astronomical Society for more information.