Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Moon
Shooting stars will be flying this weekend, and it promises to be a show worth watching. Where can you catch a glimpse locally?
The offspring of Halley's comet are about to put on quite a show over the skies of Moon and Robinson.
Earth began passing through a stream of debris from Halley's on Oct. 15, which gives us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower.
The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday until just before dawn on Sunday.
This year, the moon will be setting at about midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.
What makes this shower so cool? First, c'mon -- it's a show of shooting stars.
Also, though, there's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than Orion the Hunter?
The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twins, Leo the Lion and then, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see, well, aside from the sun.
Something else special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and occasionally produce an odd fireball.
Obviously, you'll have more luck catching the shooting stars if you're in a place not polluted by light.
The closest good viewing area with the least amount of excess light in the Patch might just be near the intersection of Ewing Road and Cherrington Parkway, where you typically have a clear view of planes landing at Pittsburgh International Airport.
Will you be watching the shower? Tell us in the comments.