Orionids Meteor Shower Visible Over Connecticut Starting Tonight
If you want a chance to see a pretty cool meteor shower get ready to set your alarm.
The Orionid meteor shower, associated with Halley's Comet, is occurring this month, but tonight and tomorrow night will be the best night to see it in the skies over Connecticut.
The Orionids meteor shower appears every year when the Earth passes through debris of Halley's Comet, which makes an appearance every 76 years on its journey around the sun. The worlds most famous comet was last seen in 1986 and according to NASA, will not reappear until 2061.
One of the benefits of Halley's comet is that the Orionids meteor shower will be visible in the sky over Connecticut in the late night and early morning hours on Tuesday/Wednesday from around midnight until 3:30 AM.
If you're situated in a good spot with low light pollution, you may be able to see up to 20 meteors an hour. The Orionids meteor shower is considered a medium strength shower that sometimes reaches high strength activity. In most years, 20 meteors an hour is the average, but then there are exceptional years, such as 2006-2009, where the peak rates were on par with the Perseids meteor shower where 50-75 meteors could be observed per hour.
The Orionid meteor shower are very fast meteors plummeting into the Earth's atmosphere at about 41 miles per second, and the meteors in this shower are on the faint side, however, sometimes, depending on the strength of this particular shower, some of the meteors may be exceptionally bright as they break into fragments. Either way, you'll need to be in a dark area, and keep an eye to the sky.
Again, the best viewing time will be late Tuesday into early Wednesday morning, but some meteors still may be visible in the pre-dawn hours throughout the rest of the week.