October 2021 Meteor Showers Guide

~3 min
October 2021 Meteor Showers Guide

October is rich in meteors: the prolific Orionids, bright Draconids, and five more meteor showers will reach their maximum activity this month! In today’s article, we explain when and where to look for shooting stars.

Contents

Tips for Watching Meteor Showers

Before we get to the list, remember that for successful meteor shower observations, you need to:

  • Check the weather forecast in advance;
  • Find out the peak time;
  • Find out when the radiant is high in the sky;
  • Be aware of the Moon phase.

Get more tips for watching meteor showers in our article. To test your shooting stars hunting skill, take the quiz on how to catch a meteor.

Major October Meteor Showers’ Peaks

October 8: Draconids

  • ZHR: 10
  • Moon Illumination: 6%
  • Active: October 6-10
  • Radiant Location: constellation Draco
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

The variable Draconids will be the most spectacular meteor shower of October. Only the Orionids have a higher hourly rating of meteors, but most likely, they will be washed away by moonlight. Unlike the other meteor showers that are best visible before dawn, the Draconids provide the best view in the evening hours. Observers from the Southern latitudes will have a short observation window, so start looking right after the darkness falls on October 7 and 8.

October 21: Orionids

  • ZHR: 20
  • Moon Illumination: 99%
  • Active: October 2 - November 7
  • Radiant Location: constellation Orion
  • Visible from: everywhere

Don’t expect much from the Orionids this year. In 2021 the meteor shower’s peak nearly aligns with the Full Moon (October 20, 14:56 GMT (10:56 a.m. EDT)); thus, the moonlight will likely hide most of the shooting stars from our view. But the Orionids are a long-lasting meteor shower, so maybe you’ll catch some meteors when the Moon becomes less bright in the sky.

Minor October Meteor Showers’ Peaks

October 5: October Camelopardalids

  • ZHR: 5
  • Moon Illumination: 1%
  • Active: October 5-6
  • Radiant Location: constellation Camelopardalis
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

As the October Camelopardalids reach the peak around the New Moon phase, conditions for observation will be almost ideal; however, these meteors aren’t very spectacular in general. The bright but rare October Camelopardalid meteors are for passionate shooting stars hunters who are ready to wait for a possible outburst of activity.

October 10: Southern Taurids

  • ZHR: 5
  • Moon Illumination: 21%
  • Active: September 10 - November 20
  • Radiant Location: constellation Taurus
  • Visible from: everywhere

This meteor shower is perfect for meteor photography newcomers. The Southern Taurids’ bright and relatively slow meteors are ideal targets for capturing; this stream also has a stable and low meteor rate that allows practicing visual planning techniques. Here are some tips on how to photograph meteor showers.

October 11: Delta Aurigids

  • ZHR: 2
  • Moon Illumination: 32%
  • Active: October 10-18
  • Radiant Location: constellation Auriga
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

According to the International Meteor Organization (IMO), the δ-Aurigids (Delta Aurigids) are not broadly studied. Current information about this stream is based on IMO video data since the late 1990s; therefore, any observations might refine our knowledge about it.

October 18: ​​Epsilon Geminids

  • ZHR: 3
  • Moon Illumination: 96%
  • Active: October 14-27
  • Radiant Location: constellation Gemini
  • Visible from: everywhere

In comparison to the Geminids in December, the ε-Geminids (Epsilon Geminids) are way less entertaining. With only a couple of meteors visible per hour, they’re not worthy of going outside during the night, especially if it’s cold there. However, the ε-Geminids are a nice addition to the Orionid meteors in general as they peak at around the same time.

October 24: Leonis Minorids

  • ZHR: 2
  • Moon Illumination: 87%
  • Active: October 19-27
  • Radiant Location: constellation Leo Minor
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere

Like the Orionids, the Leonis Minorids are affected by the Moon phase in 2021. While at least a few prolific Orionid meteors can be seen, the weak Leonis Minorid stream won’t be a decent target for observations.

These were all seven meteor showers that observers can view in October 2021. Hopefully, this article will help you to schedule a meteor hunt for the month. Use our stargazing apps to learn a radiant location for your sites or the Moon phase for any date.

Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!

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