Two small meteor showers expected to peak Tuesday and Wednesday - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Two small meteor showers expected to peak Tuesday and Wednesday night

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CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- Two small meteor showers are set to peak in consecutive nights this week. 

First, there is the Draconid meteor shower which will peak on Tuesday night. The Draconids owe their name to the constellation Draco, which is Latin for dragon. This meteor shower is created when the Earth passes through the dust and debris left by comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. .

The Draconid meteor shower has been known for some of the best meteor showers in history with large outbursts, most recently in 2011. That's not expected this year though, and typically only a couple meteors per hour are visible under the best viewing conditions. 

To try your hand at catching a glimpse of the Draconids, you'll want to look for the constellation Draco, which appears in the northern sky. The Draconids are also best viewed near sunset and in the first few hours of night. 

Then, Wednesday night, the Southern Taurids meteor shower will peak. Much like the Draconids, this meteor shower won't produce much excitement with only a handful of shooting stars visible per hour. 

While the number of meteors typically associated with the Southern Taurids is low, the meteors that are seen have been known to be brilliant fireballs. 

The Southern Taurids appear to originate in from constellation Taurus, which is visible looking to the southeast early in the evening. 

Neither meteor shower is expected to be much to get excited about this year with only a few meteors visible per hour. The brightness of the moon may also hamper viewing. 

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