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The Buzz

'Most Beautiful' Meteor Shower of the Year Coming This Weekend





(Photo via Shutterstock)

If you are mesmerized by the nighttime sky, you'll want to stay up late on Saturday night into Sunday morning and check out the aerial display from the Orionid meteor shower.

It won't be as impressive as the summer's Perseid meteor shower, but NASA officials say there should be about 15-20 meteors per hour.

"The Orionid meteor shower is not the strongest, but it is one of the most beautiful showers of the year," said Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.

The meteors will be visible from anywhere on Earth and the shower's point of origin will be near Orion's sword. Cooke suggests not staring directly at that spot "because meteors close to the radiant have short trails and are harder to see — so you want to look away from Orion." 

Even though the show will be visible with the naked eye, there are some challenges.

For example, the early forecast in the Chicago area is calling for partly cloudy skies. Plus, the moon will be more than 50 percent illuminated and "is going to mess with you," according to Cooke.

If you can fight through those obstacles, be prepared to keep your eyes peeled. 

"The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest among meteor showers, because the Earth is hitting a stream of particles almost head on," according to Space.com.

For best viewing, try to find a location with as little light pollution as possible. Keep in mind that it takes about 30 minutes for your eyes to fully adjust to darkness, so the longer you sit outside, the more you'll be able to see. 

Patience is key, as we found out with the Perseid meteor shower, where we were rewarded with a fairly sweet meteor streaking across the sky around the 17-second mark in this time-lapse video.

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