If you missed out on the Perseid meteor shower back in August, tonight you have another chance to do some sky-gazing when the Draconid meteor shower makes its annual arrival.
USA Today reports this afternoon that you won't even have to stay up late (or wake up extra early) to see the Draconids because they are best seen in the evening, rather than before dawn. This means that just after sunset you will be able to see this year's shower, provided you are far enough away from city lights. Even better if your eyes have taken at least 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness for optimal viewing.
The annual shower gets its name from Draco the Dragon, a northern constellation that includes Eltanin and Rastaban, the two bright stars that form the eyes. Many of the meteors are expected to move outward from the dragon's eyes.
This particular shower is a byproduct of the Giacobini-Zinner comet, which orbits the sun approximately every 6.6 years. Particles of dust and ice are incinerated when they cross through the comet's trail, resulting in the falling stars we see in meteor showers. Those conditions, plus a waxing moon in the night sky not radiating too much light, will reportedly make for good viewing conditions this evening.
There's even a bit of a chance you'll get to see some meteor action just after sunset on Tuesday as well, though USA Today adds that the spectacle isn't expected to be quite as large.