Look Up For One of the Best Fall Meteor Showers in Central New York
Look up at the night sky for one of the best meteor showers of the fall season in Central New York.
The Orionids meteor shower will appear overnight from Friday, October 21 to Saturday, October 22. It's your only chance to enjoy the famous Halley's Comet before it returns to our inner solar system in 2061, according to the Farmer's Almanac.
Our Earth passes closest to Halley’s orbit every mid-to-late October, and in the process, encounters comet debris. The particles ram into our atmosphere at speeds in excess of 40 miles per second, and thanks to friction, they are raised to white heat in the span of a heartbeat, creating the effect of a “shooting star” in our sky.
The Orionids shower will be visible from October 16-24, with the highest period of activity on the 21st. You can see these meteors with the naked eye and may catch anywhere from 10 to over 20 per hour.
The best time to observe any meteor shower is during the early morning hours, from 4 to 5 AM. "The numbers of meteors will increase until morning twilight interferes," the Farmer's Almanac said. Just focus on the dark sky and avoid looking at the moon, your cell phone, or other sources of light.
Check out an interactive meteor shower sky map at Timeanddate.com.
If you miss the Orionids overnight, there are several more meteor showers next month. The Southern Taurids meteor shower in the first week of November and the Northern Taurids during the second week of the month. Both are known for producing incredibly bright fireballs but only a few shooting stars.
The best of the three will be the Leonids, which will peak on November 17-18 and bring around 10 to 15 meteors per hour.