If you want your wishes to come true this just could be your weekend. If you believe in wishing on a falling star, that is! The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks after midnight Saturday night, October 20, and into the pre-dawn hours of Sunday. IF the sky is clear (and that's a rather big "if" lately) and you go to a place where the skies are dark, you may see more than 20 meteors streak across the sky in an hour! Some of the meteors will be bright and leave briefly glowing trails. Many will be fast and faint. Don't worry, however, you won't be bonked on the noggin by the falling debris -- it's only dust and small grains left behind in space during previous passages of Halley's Comet. Traveling at very high speed, the tiny particles glow brightly as they enter Earth's atmosphere heating and finally "burning up" completely.
To enjoy the show:
- Find a place where street and other night lights won't shine in your eyes.
- You will get the best view from places that have little light pollution -- that's artificial light that is wasted and spilled into the sky, making the atmosphere glow.
- For ease of viewing bundle up (you can get cold just sitting around out there); warm beverages will also help! and...
- Take along a patio lounge chair.
- Then, around midnight, sit back, look up and towards the east (where the constellation Orion will be rising) and watch for those "falling stars." The show will end with Sunday's dawn.
Make a wish for clear skies Saturday night so we can get out and enjoy the natural beauty of our night sky!