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How do you see the Orionid meteor shower shooting from the sky this week?



  lspn-comet-halley

Halley & # 39; s Comet in 1986.


NASA

Every time a comet visits the inner solar system and shoots across the sky, it leaves a trail of space crumbs. Halley & # 39; s comet last visited in 1

986, left behind a cloud of dust and debris that drives our planet every October. When those pieces of comet remains touch our atmosphere, they create the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks on Tuesday morning.

If you follow the paths of these falling stars back to their origin, they seem to come from the constellation Orion, but that doesn't mean you have to stare at Orion to catch the meteors that will shoot across the sky.

The Orionids are even among the fastest meteors and shoot to the horizon at 66 speeds per second. As a result, they tend to leave long and sustained trains that seem to hang in the air for a few seconds.

The American Meteor Society recommends finding a place away from light pollution between the hours of midnight and sunrise, local time. The moon will be out in the early morning hours, so you'll want to orient yourself to keep it out of sight for the best meteor spots.

Under ideal conditions, you would expect about 15 meteors per hour, but some research suggests that we are approaching the end of a 12-year cycle in which that number can easily double or triple.

If the weather is not cooperating on Tuesday morning or you cannot get out at such insane hours, don't worry. The peak of the Orionids is not particularly steep, which means that you have to have an early chance this week to catch some of the meteors.

Originally published October 21, 9:42 am PT.


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