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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch

Shooting stars will be flying early in the morning this week in the Orionids meteor shower over Fairfax County.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show over Fairfax County. 

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

If you live in an area that's relatively dark, you shouldn't have too much trouble seeing the meteor shower. If you live in a more densely populated area where they may be some light pollution, try moving to a darker area. 

Space.com has these tips and more:

Get as far away from city and other artificial lights as possible. Meteor showers are best viewed in really dark skies. Try to keep the moon out of your field of vision, too.

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.

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.

Do you know of a great place to view the meteor shower? Tell us in the comments section!

Ashley Ramirez October 19, 2012 at 12:25 PM
2012 Orionids Meteor Shower Online http://bit.ly/ONZNMP

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