Clear skies fore­cast for the Ori­onid me­teor shower this week­end in Caroli­nas

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Stay Connected - BY CHARLES DUN­CAN cdun­[email protected]­clatchy.com Charles Dun­can: 843626- 0301, @dun­can­re­port­ing

The Ori­onid me­teor shower will peak this week­end with 15 to 20 me­te­ors per hour around 2 a.m. both Sun­day and Mon­day, ac­cord­ing to Space.com.

The fore­cast for skygaz­ers both days should be clear across North and South Carolina, ac­cord­ing to the Weather Chan­nel. But the bright moon could wash out some of the light show.

NASA me­teor ex­pert Bill Cooke told Space.com, “The moon is go­ing to mess with you.”

For much of the Caroli­nas most me­te­ors will be about 10 de­grees above the east­ern hori­zon, ac­cord­ing to the In-thesky.org, with about four me­te­ors per hour be­gin­ning around mid­night Satur­day night.

But, Space.com ad­vises, “Ori­onid me­te­ors are vis­i­ble from any­where on Earth and can be seen any­where across the sky.”

The peak will be around Orion’s sword. NASA’s Cooke told Space.com, “Me­te­ors close to the ra­di­ant have short trails and are harder to see — so you want to look away from Orion.”

The best spots to see the me­teor shower will be as far away as pos­si­ble from any light pol­lu­tion. Space.com sug­gests go­ing out to the dark­est spot you can find by 1:30 a.m. Sun­day and al­low your eyes to ad­just to the light for about 20 min­utes.

The Ori­onid shower is known for the bright­ness and speed of its me­te­ors, ac­cord­ing to NASA, which calls it “one of the most beau­ti­ful show­ers of the year.”

The an­nual shower comes from de­bris off Hal­ley’s Comet, NASA notes, which or­bits around the sun about ev­ery 76 years. “Ev­ery year the Earth passes through these de­bris trails, which al­lows the bits to col­lide with our at­mos­phere where they dis­in­te­grate to cre­ate fiery and col­or­ful streaks in the sky,” ac­cord­ing to the agency.

NASA/JPL

The Ori­onid me­teor shower ap­pears an­nu­ally in Oc­to­ber thanks to de­bris left be­hind by Hal­ley’s Comet.

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