February 25, 2018

An impressive meteor shower on display this weekend

21 October 2017, 12:25 | Camille Rivera

An Orionid meteor streaking across the sky. Yuri Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images

An Orionid meteor streaking across the sky

If you head out late at night, the Moon should have set before the best part of the show-generally between midnight and sunrise, according to the American Meteor Society.

The Orionid meteor shower will peak over the weekend and it looks like we should have great viewing conditions for it, especially tonight. As Earth passes through debris left from Comet Halley, the particles burn up as they enter Earth's atmosphere and streak across the sky.

The Orionids are best viewed from a rural location away from any light pollution.

"If you can courageous the cold, make a plan to stay out between midnight and 3am on Sunday morning to give yourself the best chance, and enjoy the thrill of seeing tiny flecks of Halley's Comet disintegrate at hypersonic speeds above your head".

Just make sure you have clear skies in your local forecast before heading out.

The Orionids are named after the direction from which they appear to radiate, which is near the constellation Orion, explained.

What causes the Orionid meteor shower?

But this year, there's barely a sliver of moon in sight - the new moon was just on Thursday. "The best time is in the wee hours of the morning towards the east and you can expect 15-20 meteors per hour", Hunt said.

However, city lights always pose a problem, so if you live near town, hop in your auto and head out into the country.

Orionid meteor shower 2017: What should you look out for? As for Halley's comet, that iconic chunk of ice and rock won't be visiting Earth again until 2061.

Meteor showers happen all year round, and usually November is a particularly active time for spotting the celestial display.

Once you're outside, find the Orion the Hunter constellation.

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