71912295_l.jpg
Stock photo from 123rf.com

Catch the Orionid meteor shower this weekend, with about 20 meteors per hour

This is the time of year to bundle up, drive out to the country in the middle of the night, and ... tip your head back.

That's because the Orionid meteor shower will peak this weekend. The shower is an outer-space light show that occurs when Earth's orbit annually rolls over the debris trail from Halley's Comet. The results are often breathtaking for those Earthlings who take a gander at the right time.

"The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest among meteor showers, because the Earth is hitting a stream of particles almost head on," reports astronomy-news website Space.com.

This year you can expect to see around 20 meteors per hour.

A caveat: The nearly full moon might prove annoying, as its gleaming light will make it harder to see the showers. Light pollution from human sources also poses a problem, so you should try to go somewhere relatively far from the city's illumination.

The best viewing time is expected to be Oct. 20-22 in the hours just before dawn, especially around 2 a.m. Another tip: the naked eye is best for catching the sprinting meteors, reports Space.com. Binoculars and telescopes "are designed to see more stationary objects in the sky."

If you miss the peak viewing this weekend, you can try again on October 29.

Share This Story