RICHMOND, Va. — The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend. They occur around October into November every year, and get their name because meteors appear to radiate out of the Orion constellation.
Dust and debris from Halley’s comet hits our atmosphere at about 148,000 mph. The Earth’s orbit passes through this dust every May and October. The moon will only be about 3% illuminated, so there will be plenty of darkness to see the meteors if you are far enough away from city lights.
The best time for viewing will be after midnight and before dawn, approximately from 2 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. in the southeastern sky.
Meteor rates of 25 per hour will be possible before dawn on Sunday morning as the shower reaches its peak. Skies should be clear to partly cloudy.
After the peak this weekend, meteor rates will continue to decline over the next week. Cloud cover will increase for Sunday and Monday nights.
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