Shooting Stars Tonight: Orionids, Draconids & More October Meteor Showers 2023

~6 min

October is rich in meteors: you can see it for yourself if you go to the Sky Tonight’s calendar and open the Meteors tab. 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.


Major October Meteor Showers

October 9: Draconids’ peak

  • ZHR: 10
  • Moon Illumination: 28%
  • Active: October 6-10
  • Radiant Location: constellation Draco
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere
  • Visibility forecast: Observing conditions are favorable for Draconids in 2023. The waning crescent Moon will not spoil the view. The meteor shower’s radiant will reach its highest point in the sky in the evening as soon as darkness falls, and the Moon will rise later in the night, so you'll have plenty of time to observe the meteors. The Northern Hemisphere is more likely to enjoy the Draconids, but observers from the Southern Hemisphere might catch some meteors as well. To make the most of this and other October meteor showers, take a look at our colorful infographic with meteor-hunting tips.
  • Description: The Draconid meteor shower is odd and unpredictable. Unlike the other meteor showers that are best visible before dawn, the Draconids provide the best view in the evening hours. In most years, they produce no more than ten meteors under dark skies, but there have been times when they entertained stargazers with several hundreds of meteors in a single hour. The next time such a show is forecasted for 2062. The Draconids’ parent body is the comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which is why they are also sometimes called the Giacobinids.

October 22: Orionids’ peak

  • ZHR: 20
  • Moon Illumination: 53%
  • Active: October 2 - November 7
  • Radiant Location: constellation Orion
  • Visible from: everywhere
  • Visibility forecast: The Orionids will be the most spectacular meteor shower in October 2023. The First Quarter Moon will set around midnight, right when the Orionids’ radiant rises. The meteor shower radiant will reach its highest point around 2 a.m. local time in both hemispheres. You’ll be able to observe the Orionids until dawn.
  • Description: The Orionids are known for their fast meteors and occasional bright fireballs. They enter the Earth’s atmosphere at 66 km/s (about 148,000 mph)! These fast meteors also produce ionized gas trails that last for several seconds. In general, Orionids are among the most beautiful meteor showers of the year. Learn more about it in our dedicated article.

Minor October Meteor Showers

October 6: October Camelopardalids’ peak

  • ZHR: 5
  • Moon Illumination: 57%
  • Active: October 5-6
  • Radiant Location: constellation Camelopardalis
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere
  • Visibility forecast: In 2023, conditions for observing the October Camelopardalids are good enough. The waning gibbous Moon will not interfere too much with observations. The meteor shower's radiant is circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere, so it's visible all night. In the Southern Hemisphere, the meteor shower won't be visible.
  • Description: The origin of the October Camelopardalids is a mystery. The meteors have an orbit that suggests they probably came from a Halley-type long-period comet. However, there is no known comet that has been identified as the source of the Camelopardalids. That means either that we haven't discovered it yet, or that the comet has already disintegrated or collided with another object.

October 11: Delta Aurigids’ peak

  • ZHR: 2
  • Moon Illumination: 13%
  • Active: October 10-18
  • Radiant Location: constellation Auriga
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere
  • Visibility forecast: In 2023, the observing conditions for the Delta Aurigids are favorable. The waning crescent Moon won’t hinder the view. The radiant point of the shower will be highest around 4 a.m. local time. However, the meteor shower itself is only for the most passionate shooting star hunters, as it produces only 2 meteors per hour at most.
  • Description: 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 13: Southern Taurids’ early peak

  • ZHR: 5
  • Moon Illumination: 3%
  • Active: September 10 - November 20
  • Radiant Location: constellation Taurus
  • Visible from: everywhere
  • Visibility forecast: This year, the conditions to observe the Southern Taurids are perfect. The meteor shower will reach its early peak a few days before the New Moon, so the Moon’s light won’t hinder the view. The Southern Taurids are active for two months and will reach their peak of 5-10 meteors per hour on November 5, so you'll have another chance to observe them.
  • Description: 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. The parent body of the Southern Taurids is comet 2P/Encke. The meteor shower has a “sibling,” the Northern Taurids, which are active from October 20 to December 10 and peak on November 12.

October 18: ​​Epsilon Geminids’ peak

  • ZHR: 3
  • Moon Illumination: 12%
  • Active: October 14-27
  • Radiant Location: constellation Gemini
  • Visible from: everywhere
  • Visibility forecast: In 2023, the conditions to observe the Epsilon Geminids are good. The waxing crescent Moon will not obstruct the view. The meteor shower is most active after midnight, and its radiant rises highest just before dawn.
  • Description: 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’ peak

  • ZHR: 2
  • Moon Illumination: 76%
  • Active: October 19-27
  • Radiant Location: constellation Leo Minor
  • Visible from: Northern Hemisphere
  • Visibility forecast: The conditions to observe the Leonis Minorids are good enough this year. The waxing gibbous Moon will set soon after midnight as the meteor shower’s radiant begins to rise. The meteor shower will be best viewed just before dawn.
  • Description: The Leonis Minorid stream was first found in video meteor data. Under a dark sky, this meteor shower can be visible with the naked eye, but it’s too weak to be an interesting target for amateur stargazers.

How to watch a meteor shower tonight?

You can prepare for the most successful meteor shower observations with an astronomy app Sky Tonight. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

  • Find out the meteor shower’s peak time.

Open the Calendar feature in Sky Tonight and go to the Meteors section. Each meteor shower is marked as a colored line in the calendar, and the peak times are marked as dots. Choose the meteor shower you want to observe and tap on the event to get more information.

  • Find out when the radiant is high in the sky.

To find out when the radiant is the highest, tap on the name of the meteor shower (it's marked blue in the Info section of the meteor shower’s event page), then go to the Events section, and look at Visible Passes. The middle time is the time when the meteor shower’s radiant is highest in the sky for your location. Tap on it to see the radiant’s position on the sky map at that moment.

  • Check the weather forecast and the Moon’s phase.

In Sky Tonight, you can find the Moon’s phase, weather forecast, and more stargazing details for a given date in the Visible Tonight section (the telescope icon on the main screen).

Get more tips for watching meteor showers in our dedicated article. And if you think you are fully prepared – test your meteor-hunting skills by taking the quiz on how to catch a shooting star.

Meteor Showers Quiz
Think you’re a meteor mastermind? Dive into our quiz to see if you’re truly starry-eyed or just spaced out. 🌠 👀 Bonus: snag some pro tips to actually catch those elusive shooting stars!
Take the quiz!

Meteor showers in October 2023: the key takeaway

Two major meteor showers (Draconids and Orionids) will peak in October 2023. For the more avid meteor hunters, there will also be a number of minor meteor showers to watch. Get ready for the night of shooting stars with our stargazing app Sky Tonight and don't miss any of this month's greatest celestial events.

Wishing you clear skies and happy observations!