The Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks This Week
Fall's best meteor shower will peak tonight across the skies. The Orionids are here. The meteors cross Earth's orbit each year from around October 2 to November 7. This year, the Moon sets early, so the skies will be dark enough. But, will the clouds move out before dawn, providing the Hudson Valley with a good view of the show?
Earth Sky says the peak of the Orionids will be before dawn October 21.You'll have to pay attention, as the meteors move very fast, though they also leave a long lasting tail once they've completely burnt up in the Earth's atmosphere, Earth Sky says you'll want to pay attention to the southeast sky after midnight. The best place to be is in a wide open area, away from city lights to see the meteors.
The Orionids have quite a famous "parent", as they are the remains of Halley's Comet, which last passed near Earth in 1986. Meteors, or shooting stars, are a bright streak of light from a heated and glowing object falling through the Earth's atmosphere. The brightness depends on the size of the projectile, the speed in which it's hitting the atmosphere, or the make up or composition of the object. In early October 2020, a bright object was seen streaking across the night sky in parts of New York state, Pennsylvania, and the midwest.
Sometimes meteors can either hit the Earth, or explode in the air. In fact, scientists say a meteor may have exploded high above New York state in late 2019, causing an eerie greenish light to be seen in the sky that night.
So how's the weather looking this year in the Hudson Valley? NOAA is calling for mostly cloudy skies with lows in the upper 50s. We just don't have much luck with these events, do we? Well, they should also be visible the morning of October 22, and the weather is calling for mostly clear skies that night.