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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch

Shooting stars will be flying early in the morning. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the sky.

Scout out your spot today, because the highlights will be all over the night sky on Saturday.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning Oct. 15, which will give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later.

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

What makes this shower so cool? First of all, c'mon—it's a show of shooting stars.

Also, though, there's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than Orion the Hunter?

The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twins, Leo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see—well, aside from the sun.

There's also something else that's special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and occasionally produce an odd fireball.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch.

TELL ME: Will you be watching? Where is the best place to get a clear view?

Natalie BP October 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Where is the best place to view this in Arnold Md 21012 and we are close to the Chrsapeake Bay Bridge also - Cape St Claire, Sandy Point, Severn River Bridge, USNA? Homecoming for BHS is tonight st .7-11 & afterwards it would be great to watch somewhere.

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