The Draconids meteor shower is only a couple days off now — on Monday October 7, 2013, the sometimes prolific, but very unpredictable, meteor shower will be peaking, sometime shortly after nightfall. Though the absolute peak will be on Monday — Tuesday October 8, 2013, should also be a good night for meteor watching as well.
Owing to the Draconids hard to predict nature, the peak rate could be anywhere from 10 meteors an hour to several thousand an hour — most likely on the lower end of that spectrum though. Regardless of the peak rate though, this will be a good year for watching, as the Moon will be in one of its darker phases (thin waxing crescent).
The best time to watch the Draconids — in contrast to most other meteor showers — is actually just shortly after nightfall, rather than in the very early morning hours as with most others. By doing so you may see anywhere up to 600 meteors an hour (as in 2011, in Europe), or up to several thousand an hour (as in 1933 and 1946). With the Draconids, though, you really won’t know how good the year will be until you’re outside watching.
To have the best meteor watching experience, there are the usual things to keep in mind: Get as far away from city lights as you can. You want the darkest, most rural sky that you can get. Getting comfortable is usually a good idea, perhaps with a reclining chair and some blankets. And warm drinks, such as coffee, or hot chocolate, usually help. 🙂
For further information of this year’s other meteor showers, see: Meteor Showers 2013, Dates and Times, Geminids, Orionids, Draconids, Ursids, Leonids, Etc
A bit of background, for those curious: The Draconids receive their name from the constellation of Draco the Dragon from which they appear to originate. They are also occasionally referred to as the Giacobinids, after Michel Giacobini, who discovered the comet that spawned them.