Get Out: Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Overnight
Robert Roy Britt
SPACE.com Tue Oct 20, 12:30 pm ET
The Orionid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show tonight into the predawn hours Wednesday, weather permitting.
This annual meteor shower is created when Earth passes through trails of comet debris left in space long ago by Halley's Comet. The "shooting stars" develop when bits typically no larger than a pea , and mostly sand-grain-sized, vaporize in Earth's upper atmosphere.
"Flakes of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us dozens of meteors per hour," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.
People in cities and suburbs will see far fewer meteors, because all but the brightest of them will be overpowered by light pollution. The best view will be from rural areas (the moon will not be a factor, so dark skies will make for ideal viewing).
When and how to watch...