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Sunday
Oct212018

Meteor Showers Light Up October Night Skys

AI.co

October not only ushers in cooler weather, it's also a celestial showtime.

The Orionids meteor shower will peak overnight from tonight and Monday. The meteor shower, which will produce between 15 to 20 meteors per hour, is best seen between 2-5 a.m.

Peaking during mid-October, the Orionids are considered one of the most beautiful showers of the year. Its meteors are fast, traveling at about 148,000 mph and leaving glowing "trains" - incandescent bits of debris in the wake of the meteor - which last for several seconds to minutes, according to NASA.

The piece of space debris that create the Orionids originate from Halley's comet. Each time Halley returns to the inner solar system, its nucleus sheds ice and rocky dust into space which eventually become the Orionids in October and the Eta Aquarids in May.

The shower's radiant - or the point in the sky from which the Orionids appear to come from - is the constellation Orion but NASA said don't limit your viewing to only that area. The Orionids should be visible throughout the night sky.

If you miss the Orionids, don't fret. The Leonids meteor shower will peak on Nov. 17.

Here are the viewing tips from NASA:

Find an area well away from city or street lights.

Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.

Lie flat on your back with your feet facing southeast if you are in the Northern Hemisphere or northeast if you are in the Southern Hemisphere, and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible.

In less than 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors.

Be patient -- the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.

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