Weather Blog

The best meteor shower you never saw... until next year

The best meteor shower you never saw... until next year

Hey, did you see the big Draconid Meteor shower last week? No? You weren't alone.

The annual meteor shower was a big dud this year as the Earth narrowly missed several debris streams from the Comet Giacobini-Zinner, according to spaceweather.com. But to make up for it, astronomers say next year's show could be one of the best meteor showers in the past 10 years.

That's because on Oct. 8, 2011, Earth will have a nearly head-on collision with a tendril of dust, setting off a strong outburst of as many as 750 meteors per hour, spaceweather.com said.

The only catch -- the peak of the storm won't be in North America. For best viewing conditions, you'll want to be in Europe, Northern Africa or the Middle East, although I'll bet we'll at least get some of the storm over here. But if you are planning a trip overseas next year, perhaps try and coincide?

Back home, our next shower is the Orionids on Oct. 21-22, when Earth goes through the dust left behind by Halley's Comet, but it's a full moon that night and is only of low-moderate meteor counts. The Leonids are November 17-18, which peak every 33 years according to theskyscrapers.org with the last peak in 2001, so we've got a while for the big show there.

The next decent show is the Geminids on Dec. 13-14, which is one of the more reliable shows. However, in the Pacific Northwest, you're dealing with pretty low odds of clear skies.

Check out theskyscrapers.org for the 2010 schedule, and here is the schedule for 2011, complete with moon phases.