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Guide to viewing tonight's Orionid Meteor Shower | News

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Guide to viewing tonight's Orionid Meteor Shower

We will have great visibility for tonight's Orionid meteor shower.  Don't be surprised if you see some glowing fireballs, falling stars, or meteors falling through the sky overnight!

It is called the "Orionid" meteor shower because many of the meteors look like they are originating from the Orion constellation.  You don't have to worry about locating Orion, because these will be visible in all parts of the sky in all locations.

This is occurring because the earth is passing through some dust and debris from the tail of Halley's Comet.  It will be good viewing tonight, because the moon is waxing.  That means you will see only a sliver of the moon.  It won't be producing very much moonlight.  The moon will also set before the meteor shower peaks, so that means we will have a nice dark sky.  We also will have mainly clear skies for great visibility.

The shower will occur between midnight and 6am (Saturday into Sunday morning).  It will begin to peak around 3am.  Expect to see around 25 meteors per hour.  That would be at a rate of 1 every 2 minutes.  Some astronomers predict we could see as many as 60 per hour.  That would be at the rate of 1 per minute.  They can be seen at any part of the sky.  Your chances may be a little higher of seeing more meteors if you begin looking toward the southeast.

Bundle up if you're sitting outside for a while.  The clear skies will help our temperatures to fall.  We will be in the 50s falling into the 40s by morning.