Bundle up and look up! Orionid meteor shower this weekend

Christopher Davidson
October 20, 2018

Stargazers are awaiting this October's "out of this world" show... the Orionid meteor shower!

While mostly clear and dry conditions are expected in the Delaware Valley Sunday night and Monday, viewing unfortunately for eager stargazers won't be ideal due to the brightness of the almost full moon. The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest among meteor showers, because the Earth is hitting a stream of particles nearly head on.

Like other meteor showers, the Orionids are created by sand-sized bits of rock and dust left behind as by a comet passes through our part of the solar system.

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Some meteors may be visible Friday night into Saturday morning as well. Be warned that the shower will compete with a almost full moon that could wash out the fainter meteors. Though the most famous of all the comets is very far away, it leaves behind debris that appears as shooting stars when it streaks through our sky.

Go out around 1:30 a.m. and let your eyes adjust to the dark for about 20 minutes. Lie back and watch the skies, but there's no need for binoculars and telescopes, since they're made to see single, stationary objects.

Binoculars and telescopes won't improve the view, because they are created to see more stationary objects in the sky.

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