The Orionids peak Tuesday night!


You could see up to 20 meteors per hour late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning as the Orionid Meteor Shower peaks! The constellation Orion rises above the eastern horizon before midnight, and is well in view between midnight and 4 AM. Look for the meteors near or just to the left of Orion’s belt; that’s where you’ll find the radiant point.

The weather looks fantastic: few if any clouds at all and tolerable temperatures in the upper 50s and lower 60s between 10 PM and 4 AM.

The Orionids are actually ‘debris’ from Halley’s Comet. Earth passes through the debris field left by that comet each year in October and November, but we’re likely to see the most meteors on the 20th and 21st of October this go-around.

You’ll want to stay up late for this one: The best time to see them is after midnight and before dawn.

Maybe you’ll also see one of these…

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

Wayne County, Tennessee in 2014 by Skiff Bailey
Fireball in Wayne County, Tennessee in 2014 by Skiff Bailey

“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.”

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