Three meteor showers grace October skies beginning this week with the Draconids and Taurids.

October skies are full of astronomical promise with three key meteor showers sending their fleeting light to Earth.

The Draconid meteor shower peaks Wednesday before midnight, followed by the Southern Taurids, and the Orionids on Oct. 22.

While the Draconids is considered a weak shower with an average of just five meteors falling per hour, it can be unpredictable.

In 1933 and 1946, the Draconids shot thousands of meteors per hour toward Earth. European observers saw more than 600 meteors per hour in 2011.

And on Oct. 9, 1992, a nearly 30-pound meteorite crashed into - and through - a Chevy Malibu in Peekskill, N.Y.

An Associated Press story at the time attributed the meteor to the Draconids shower, but a History.com article about the incident doesn’t mention a specific shower.

“Thousands of people in the eastern United States saw the greenish Peekskill meteorite as it streaked toward Knapp’s vehicle and many heard it too: one witness said that it crackled like a very loud sparkler,” states.

This year, the Draconids will be active through Thursday. They are best observed just after dark.

The shower gets its name from the constellation Draco where it originates, but it is actual debris from the path of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.

“Because this comet has an orbital period of nearly seven years, the next perihelion won’t come until 2025,” wrote Bruce McClure and Deborah Byrd in a column for EarthSky.org. “So we’re not expecting any outburst this year, in 2019. But, then, no one really knows for sure.”

The Southern Taurid meteor shower will peak Thursday.

The Taurids are actually broken into two streams, the North Taurids and the South Taurids, which are known as the Taurid Complex.

Collectively, the Taurids ramble along from late October through most of November.

All Taurids are debris from the Comet Encke, which is named for the German astronomer Johan Franz Encke, who discovered it in 1786.

It’s the size of the chunks of rock, ice and dust that Comet Encke leaves behind in its three-year orbit around the sun that accounts for the Taurids fireball-throwing reputation.

The Orionid meteor shower, which is a wash of rock and ice shed from the venerable Halley’s Comet, will peak on the morning of Oct. 22.

Both the Draconids and Taurids will be dampened this week by South Florida’s skies, which will be spotted with clouds and heavy rain.

This story originally published to palmbeachpost.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the GateHouse Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.