Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Orionid Meteor Shower

If you are a fan of astronomy and astrology, you will not want to miss what is in store on October 20th and 21st. The Orionid Meteor Shower will peak across the globe on these days. This year astronomers are anticipating 15-20 meteors to cross the sky every hour. That may not seem like a lot. In fact, some years 70-80 meteors can be seen each hour with this meteor shower. However, the Orionid Meteor Shower is known for having some of the brightest and fastest meteors, also known as shooting stars.

That means the meteors will easily be seen via the naked eye. In order to get the best view of them, though, you should venture away from city centers and light pollution. The best places to see events like these are rural locations where minimal to no buildings exist. The darker it is, the better chance you have of seeing the show. The best time to see the meteors will be Thursday morning and Friday morning, shortly before dawn. That is when the constellation Orion will be low in the eastern sky. Meteors will not be confined to appearing near Orion, however.

These meteors are exceptionally special because they are pieces of Halley's Comet, which only swings by Earth every 75-76 years. This particular meteor shower occurs annually. So while you may only get to see Halley's Comet once in a lifetime, you can see meteors that originate from the Comet each year via the light show called the Orionid Meteor Shower.

And the great news for northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin is skies should be mainly clear Thursday night and Friday morning. That will allow for excellent viewing conditions for the entire region!

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