It's not often we can get clear skies in late October to be treated to the annual Orionid Meteor Shower, but it appears this year will be one of those lucky years.
The meteor shower peaks late on Sunday night/Monday morning, although you might be able to catch a few in the week before and after, according to Space.com. Already, Greg Johnson at SkunkBayWeather.com has picked up a few on his nighttime web camera:
The meteor shower is created from the dust left behind by Halley's Comet. Each October, Earth passes through the leftover stream from the famous comet and it makes lightning fast streaks across the sky as the dust particles burn up in the atmosphere.
The best time to look is around 2 a.m., but any time after darkness you might get lucky and spot a few. You'll want to get away from city lights but as far as where to look in the sky, the answer is simple: Up. The streaks will originate from near the Orion constellation, but they'll pass across all quadrats of the sky.
This year's show isn't expected to be among the best for a couple reasons. For one, the moon will be nearly full, which will add some unwanted light pollution to the sky and will wash out some of the dimmer streaks. Second, astronomers calculate about 15-30 meteors per hour should be visible around the peak - on the lower end that the show can produce, according to Space.com . Some years it can be as high as 80, which is still a far cry from the summertime Perseid Meteor Showers which can have 100-200.
Skies are expected to be clear across much of the Northwest, but there is another potential challenge -- getting away from city lights will get you into rural areas where ground fog has a better chance of forming.
But if you do luck out and get some photos of the show, we'd love to see them! You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org, post them on KOMO's Facebook page, or submit them via our Chime-In web page.