LOOK UP: Orionid meteor shower is this weekend!


Orionid meteor showerThe Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak in the next couple of days and NASA calls it "one of the most beautiful showers of the year." 

The meteors are particles from Halley's Comet, which passes Earth every 75 to 76 years, and are visible from anywhere on Earth, according to Space.com.

As the comet passes the planet, it leaves behind a "trail of comet crumbs," or meteoroids, and every now and then, the Earth's orbit crosses path with the debris. Once the meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere, they become meteors (shooting stars). Most will disintegrate before hitting the ground, but meteors that do strike the ground are called meteorites. 

The Orionid shower will peak between Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21, but you may be able see a meteor or two before then. Peak visibility is expected around 2 a.m. when you can expect to see up to 10-20 meteors per hour. For optimal viewing, you're going to want a clear sky away from city lights. 

Your best bet will be to look in the southwest sky. 

If you can't make it outside, or we have too much cloud cover, you can watch the live stream of the event at Slooh.com on October 21 and October 22. They will be pulling images from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands in Tenerife's Tiede National Park, which is one of the world's darkest places. 

(story: KHQ.com; photo: Mike Black / NASA)