Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch

Shooting stars will be flying early in the morning in west Anne Arundel County. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies of west Anne Arundel County.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning Oct. 15, which will give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later.

In Odenton, Severn, Crofton and other nearby towns, density of development makes clear viewing a little tricky. (Light pollution is not our friend.) Those residents in Woodwardville and other southern sections of Odenton may have the best luck. 

Furthermore, local parks are closed after dusk. But experienced viewers say it's best to find an area of flat ground and look somewhat to the south and east. The meteors will come at a pace of about 25 per hour, according to Space.com.

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

What makes this shower so cool? First of all, c'mon—it's a show of shooting stars.

Also, though, there's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than Orion the Hunter?

The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twins, Leo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see—well, aside from the sun.

There's also something else that's special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and occasionally produce an odd fireball.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch. 

Odenton-Severn Patch editor Tim Lemke contributed to this story

If you have any photos or videos of last year's meteor shower, upload them here. And be sure to share any new pics or videos of any meteors you see this week.

Carol B October 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
If anyone's going to film it, please post your video(s) for those of us for whom the Orionid shower will occur way past bedtime.


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