October skies: Be sure to look up for the Draconid, Orionid meteor showers

With cooler temperatures and fair skies, be sure to spend some time looking up during the month of October!

The weather looks perfect for this week when the Draconid meteor shower will zip across the sky. Although the meteors reached their peak on Tuesday and Wednesday, a few will still be zipping through the sky into the weekend.

Composite image taken from  Berlin between about 22:30 UT, Oct 8, and 3:00 UT, Oct 9 of Draconid meteors by Sirko Molau

About two weeks later, the Orionid meteor shower will occur from October 21 through 22. At its peak, as many as 20 meteors are visible per hour. According to timeanddate.com, the Orionids¬†are created by debris from Halley’s comet. You’ll want to stay up late for this one: The best time to see them is after midnight and before dawn.

Wayne County, Tennessee in 2014 by Skiff Bailey

Fireball in Wayne County, Tennessee in 2014 by Skiff Bailey

It’s also fireball season. According to the American Meteor Society:

“A fireball is another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus in the morning or evening sky. A bolide is a special type of fireball which explodes in a bright terminal flash at its end, often with visible fragmentation.”

If you spot a meteor — also known as a shooting star — be sure to share it with us on Facebook, Twitter, or even the Live Alert 19 app!

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