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Meteor shower peaks this weekend over the Interior

Meteor shower peaks this weekend over the Interior”

We have to wait until December for the Geminid meteor shower, but there's a lesser-known shower happening right now, the Orionids, named for their origin, the Orion constellation.

According to NASA, the meteor shower - made up of debris from Halley's Comet - will be most visible the night of october 21 and the following morning. This means there won't be much light pollution away from the city lights.

This year, prime viewing times are likely to be the nights of October 20, 21, and 22 - Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - although they are likely to remain visible, if less frequent, as late as November 7.

"The Orionids are popular among stargazers because all of its individual shooting stars are fragments of the most famous comet of all time, Halley's Comet", Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said.

Keep your eyes to the sky this weekend!

First things first, do you know the difference between a meteor, a comet and an asteroid?

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Meteoroids from Halley's Comet will strike Earth's atmosphere at a speed of 148,000mph, (238,000kph) burning up in streaking flashes of light that can be seen with the naked eye.

This meteor shower will be best for night owls since the prime time viewing hours are from around 2 a.m.to just before sunrise. At peak, if the night is dark and cloudless, up to 70 meteors an hour can be seen.

As many as 10 to 20 shooting stars will appear during the annual spectacle, but if the weather conditions are clear, the number could be higher.

I love putting on a coat, lighting up a bonfire and enjoying the night sky with a cup of something hot - cider or otherwise. The starry spectacle is set to take place between October 20 and October 22, offering a dazzling display that should delight veteran and novice stargazers alike. To find it, look for the constellation Orion the Hunter, the shower's radiant point.

That equates to roughly one shooting star every two and a half minutes, so it's best to get comfortable.

You'll be able to spot them clearly in the eastern sky just above the horizon.



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