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Annual Orionid Meteor Shower peaking in Philadelphia skies Thurs-Fri, Oct 20-21; Watch Video
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/20/16 5:05 am | updated: 10/20/16 5:05 am
 
The annual October Orionid Meteor Shower is set to peak tonight across the Philadelphia region's skies on the night of the 20th-21st. Tonight's forecast is for partly cloudy skies and mild temperatures making ok weather to catch the meteors streaking across the sky. The waning gibbous moon will be rising and very bright just before midnight and staying in the sky as the night wears on. It will not be perfect conditions for seeing shooting stars but it doesn't hurt to try as it will be a nice night otherwise for late October. The best time would be closest to dawn.

The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion "The Hunter", because the meteors appear to "radiate" or come from just north of Orion's bright star named "Betelgeuse" or his right shoulder. You can find the constellation Orion prominently in the south-east sky rising in the late evening.

This meteor shower is produced as Earth's orbit crosses through the dust and debris trail left by the solar system's most famous comet "Haley's Comet." Haley's travels around the Sun every 76 years, last passing us in 1986. This meteor storm could bring as many as 25 per hour as we pass through the debris field with potentially higher bursts.

The best place to view the meteor show around Philadelphia would be any place away from the Center City lights and in an open field. Even though there is a radiant point in the south-east sky, you can see them fly anywhere above. Watching later in the night closer to dawn should see the best results. Bring a blanket or something to lie down on. You'll want to rest your head and look up without straining. Patience is key.

Don't want to go outside, or live somewhere it's too cloudy or bright? Watch the live video from Slooh Space Camera starting at 8 pm on Thursday October 20th: http://live.slooh.com/stadium/live/orionids-meteor-shower-2016

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