Amy-O-Meter: Catch the Orionid meteor shower Wednesday night
The Orionid Meteor Shower, spawned by famous Halley’s Comet, peaks Wednesday night… and unlike other cool astronomical events like the recent Blood Supermoon… We will have perfect (if not a little chilly) sky-watching weather this time. That’s a definite Amy-O-Meter "10!"
The Orionids get their name from the constellation Orion, because the meteors seem to be coming from that famous star, Orion’s shoulder, Betelguese (Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!) Meteor showers happen when the Earth travels through the debris field of a comet, like Halley’s Comet.
The show is set to peak just before dawn Thursday morning, but even at its peak, the Orionid show is only a modest display. Space.com experts say you’ll only see about 10-20 meteors per hour. Speaking of Space.com, the website is offering a free show from the Slooh Observatory, a site that used to offer free shows, but recently changed its policy and now charges a yearly subscription fee. (Found that out the hard way when I tried to log on to see the Blood Supermoon because it was cloudy at my house.) Check out the show narrated by Slooh astronomer Bob Berman here.
NASA will also host a live show of the Orionids, broadcast out of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. Catch it here. That should also be an excellent show because of the clear weather in the southeast.