One of the best meteor showers of the fall will peak tonight and will streak across the night sky every hour.
Since the skies will be clear, people will have excellent viewing conditions. Especially those across the eastern United States, while the clouds will obscure the shower for some areas in the western and central U.S.
The meteor shower known as the Orionids is an annual meteor shower. It is caused by debris left behind by Haley’s Comet burning up in the atmosphere of the Earth.
This year is particularly a good year for viewing the Orionid meteor shower.
The peak of the shower falls just a few days before the new moon. However, light pollution from cities and towns can also wash out some of the dimmer meteors. This may reduce the number of meteors that people can see from these areas.
Eastern U.S. will have the best weather for viewing the meteor shower. A large dome of high pressure promotes clear skies across the region. Last year, the clouds obscured the shower for many in the eastern U.S., but this year, it will likely provide a better window for viewing the meteors.
However, in some areas, a late-night fog may develop. This can have an effect on those who are trying to view the Orionids before the dawn.
The smoke from wildfires can also lead to poor viewing conditions in some parts of California.
Those people who are willing to see the Orionid meteor shower should be very patient. It may take some time to spot some shooting stars.
The best will be to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness for about 45 minutes, in order to achieve prime night vision.
There will also be a lot more opportunities for people to view a meteor shower by the end of this year, including the Geminids in December, which will actually be one of the best meteor showers of the entire year.
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Image Credit: Shutterstock (licensed by SDS)/By Vadim Sadovski