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2017 Orionid Meteor shower peaks this weekend

Cropped Photo: Courtesy: NASA

It's time for another meteor shower! Watch little bits of Halley's Comet streak by during the Orionids this October.

Its peak is between October 20 and 22, 2017, but you could see meteors as early as October 15 and as late as October 29. According to the Asheville Astronomy Club, viewers in 2017 can expect a "modest" 10-15 meteors per hour.

If you want to watch, this weekend (coincidentally, LEAF weekend) offers the best viewing and most meteors.

The AAC says you'll need to rise early or stay up late to catch the show overhead, as the peak observing window is between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., when Orion is higher in the sky, and before the rising sun ruins viewing. But, at least, the AAC says, a new moon means moonlight won't interfere with observing in 2017.

Find a place with dark skies (the Asheville Astronomy Club recommends these nearby sites), and head there after Orion rises. You might want to bring camp chairs, a blanket, water, cocoa or coffee, and some snacks.

There's no need to bring binoculars or telescopes. Just settle in and look up!

The shower takes its name from the constellation from which meteors seem to radiate: Orion the Hunter, the stately constellation now striding overhead nightly.



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