CHECK IT OUT! – Orionid Meteor Shower

Looking for something great to do tonight and into the wee morning?  Then you should check out the Orionid Meteor Shower.

Guaranteed to offer spectacular views of cascading meteorites left from the tail of Hailey’s Comet, the views will peak tonight/Sunday morning offering dozens of shooting stars per hour.   This time holds true no matter what time zone you are in in the Western hemisphere.

The Orionids are so named because they will appear to be radiatiang from the well known Orion constellation.  So, to locate the meteor shower tonight/this morning by finding Orion in the sky.  You can use an app on your phone or look it up and take a print out with you when you go star gazing.  And, if you have a telescope, tonight is a great reason to get that puppy out!

Some tips on for your viewing pleasure:

Find a dark sky: The best viewing conditions are in places far from city lights, which can hamper your view. Even though the Orionids have been a fairly dependable meteor shower in recent years, you should still get away from the city if you can.

Dress warmly: A warm jacket is highly recommended.  You’ll probably be hanging star gazing for a while.

Get comfortable: Consider bringing a reclining chair to help ease neck strain from constantly looking up for a glimpse of meteors. Add a blanket and a cup of hot chocolate or tea to keep you cozy during your meteor-hunting night out!

Today also happens to be Astronomy Day and the online Slooh Space Camera is providing a free 11-hour marathon webcast of night sky views from its telescopes around the world.  The Astronomy Day live webcast begins at 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) on the Slooh website.  This webcast featurs views of the planets and moons in our solar system, as well as nebulas and supernovas.

The webcast can be accessed directly at the Slooh Space Camera website here: http://events.slooh.com/

NASA also says that there’s plenty of other naked-eye sky targets to seek out while trying to observe the Orionids.

“In addition to Orionids, you’ll see brilliant Venus, red Mars, the dog star Sirius and bright winter constellations such as Orion, Gemini and Taurus,” NASA officials said in a skywatching advisory. “Even if you don’t spy a meteor, the rest of the sky is dynamite!”

So, grab a blanket, some cocoa, and a friend, (and hopefully a chair) and enjoy some sky!

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