Orionids Meteor Shower 2012 Peaks Oct. 20 and 21
Shooting stars will be flying Saturday and Sunday in a show that promises to be worth watching.
The offspring of Halley's comet are about to put on quite a show over the skies of Havre de Grace.
Earth passes through a stream of debris from Halley's beginning Oct. 15, which gives us the benefit of the annual Orionid meteor shower, which should peak the evening of Saturday, Oct. 20, until dawn on Oct. 21.
This year, the moon will be setting at about midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.
Meteors will be the stars of the show, if you will, but this weekend’s sky will have some other notable players.
In the northwest of the Orion constellation you’ll a steady, brightly shining object. That’s Jupiter. In the southeast corner, Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, will twinkle like a colorful disco ball.
And if you stay up late (or early) enough, look for Venus in the east. Even in the later dawn hours, when the sky begins to turn a bright blue and the stars fade, Venus will continue to shine brightly, the only visible celestial object until it’s washed out by sunlight.