Friday will be best night for viewing weekend meteor shower

Orionid Meteor Shower in the night's sky

The Orionids are generally visible between October 2 and November 7, reaching peak visibility between October 20 and October 22.

AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel said the shower is likely to produce between 10 and 20 meteors per hour in the period before dawn. In May, the Earth again runs through the detritus of Halley's Comet, creating the Eta Aquariid meteor shower.

Over the next few days, one of the year's most reliable meteor showers will fill the night sky with shooting stars.

As the comet moves through space, it leaves debris in its wake that strikes Earth's atmosphere most fully around October 20-22, each year. After a comet has made numerous trips around the Sun, its orbit can fill up with dusty debris, like a river of dust particles in space.

The Orionids are the only well-recognized major shower that happens twice a year.


By this time, the Moon will have set. "Meteors in annual showers are named for the point in our sky from which they appear to radiate", according to EarthSky's Deborah Byrd.

WAKING up at an absurdly early hour on Sunday morning will be a small price to pay to see the Orionid meteor shower.

You can make your meteor watching experience much more comfortable if you take along a lawn chair, a blanket and a thermos of your favorite hot beverage. This is because the Earth rotates us more in the direction of Orion as we approach sunrise.

Those who hope for a sight of Uranus should look for a blue-green body, visible to the naked eye when looking to the skies in the southeast.

Tthough the peak of the meteor activity occurs on the morning of October 21, you also might see a few Orionid meteors zipping across the sky on the mornings of October 20 and 22 as well. His Celestial News column appears in the Steamboat Today newspaper monthly.

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