Look to the sky and you might see some of the biggest, brightest meteors - Bring Me The News

Look to the sky and you might see some of the biggest, brightest meteors

Find a place outdoors, away from bright lights and look up. A big meteor shower will peak Thursday and Friday.
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Look up in the night sky Thursday and Friday and you could catch a dazzling meteor show. The annual Orionid Meteor Shower started earlier this month and continues through the first week in November, but it's expected to peak late this week.

Space.com says the shower will bring some of the year's brightest shooting stars. However NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke tells the site that the meteors won't be as frequent as in other years. Skywatchers can expect about 15 to 20 meteors per hour. Other years, they have exceeded 70 to 80 per hour.

Even so, the expert says it's worth watching for because these meteors are known to be extra bright and fast.

"If you blink, you might miss them," Cooke tells Space.com.

AccuWeather says the meteors you see in the Orionid shower are ice and dust debris that's left behind by Comet Halley.

"Occasionally the Orionids produce fireballs, meteors that shine extremely bright for a few quick seconds before fading away," says Brian Lada, a meteorologist for AccuWeather.

How to watch?

If you'd like to watch for the meteor shower, AccuWeather says viewing conditions will be "fair" for most of Minnesota. Right along the Minnesota-Iowa border, conditions will be better, though.

 Credit: AccuWeather

Credit: AccuWeather

It's best to find a dark area away from city lights where you can see as much sky as possible. And look for the constellation Orion (that's where the meteors appear to come from).

Space.com says the meteors will appear to come from Orion's radiant. However, you don't want to stare at that spot because those meteors will be harder to see. So look a little bit away from the constellation.

 Credit: Space.com

Credit: Space.com

Unfortunately, ScienceAlert says the combination of clouds and a large waning gibbous moon will make the shooting stars less visible.

CBS News says that while the meteor shower will peak in the early morning hours, it might be best to look to the sky late at night because the moon will affect visibility less.

"A good thing about the Orionids is that they tend to either have a double peak or a flat maximum, which means that you can see good Orionid rates for two to three nights," Cooke tells Space.com. "So if you miss it one night, you can go out the next night and see them."

You can also watch a live-stream of the meteor shower here.

Otherwise the next big meteor shower will be the Geminids in December. AccuWeather says that's usually the biggest of the year with 120 colorful meteors per hour. If you'd like to mark your calendars, EarthSky says peak time will be Dec. 13 to early Dec. 14.

Related

Meteor shower will light up sky in early morning

An impressive meteor shower called the Quadrantids is set to hit the northern atmosphere from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday. You might see up to a meteor a minute if you're far enough from city lights and hardy enough to get up at that hour.

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