, °F

Personalized Forecasts

Featured Forecast

My Favorite Forecasts

    My Recent Locations

    Orionid meteor shower to peak this weekend as clear skies provide millions with ideal view

    By Brian Lada, AccuWeather meteorologist and staff writer
    October 21, 2017, 7:06:51 PM EDT

    Share this article:


    Sunday morning will offer another opportunity to view one of the best meteor showers of the fall with over a dozen meteors streaking across the night sky every hour.

    Clear skies will bring excellent viewing conditions for those across the eastern United States while clouds, rain and wildfire smoke obscure the shower for some areas in the western and central U.S.

    meteor shower feature


    The Orionids is an annual meteor shower that is caused by debris left behind by Halley’s Comet burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.

    “The shower will produce somewhere between 10 and 20 meteors per hour,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist and Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.

    “The best viewing in the Northern Hemisphere will be after midnight,“ Samuhel added.

    This year will be a particularly good year for viewing the Orionids as the peak of the shower falls just days after the new moon, meaning there will be little natural light pollution for the shower to compete with.

    However, light pollution from cities and towns can wash out some of the dimmer meteors, reducing the number of meteors people can see from these areas.

    page-1.jpg


    On Sunday morning, viewing conditions are going to be excellent across the mid-Atlantic with mainly clear skies.

    While conditions will remain excellent over most of the Southwest, patchy clouds may interrupt star gazing in part of the East. Fair conditions are expected across the Southeast.

    Clouds and rain will prevent viewing the meteor shower over much of the Missisisppi Valley and the Northwest Sunday morning.

    RELATED:
    AccuWeather Astronomy Facebook page
    5 dark sites perfect for stargazing in the United States
    First detection of gravitational waves from neutron-star crash marks new era of astronomy

    “It is best to allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness for a full 45 minutes, to achieve prime night vision,” Samuhel said.

    There will be a few more opportunities for people to view a meteor shower this year if they miss the one this weekend, including the Geminids in December, which is one of the best meteor showers of the entire year.

    Fall meteor showers



    Questions or comments? Email Brian Lada at Brian.Lada@accuweather.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter!


    Report a Typo

    Comments

    Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

    More Weather News