Meteor Shower Viewing To Soon Peak For Magic Valley Watchers
Those in the Magic Valley who over the weekend enjoyed the full moon that made for a lighter than usual Saturday night, another celestial thrill is in the cards for the weekend of October 19.
The Orionid Meteor Shower will again be visible this week, with peek viewing in Idaho expected to begin Sunday, October 20. The Orionids are a system of shooting stars that can be viewed every late October, and follow the same annual path of travel originating in the sky near the Orion constellation. The meteors are thought to be a continual extension of Halley's Comet, which is expected to pass within Earth's view again in 2061.
Approximately 20 to 30 streaking meteors an hour will come into view beginning Sunday night, according to information found at timeanddate.com's astronomy page. Idahoans will have perhaps the best chance to see the Orionids in the late evening / early morning hours of October 22.
The Orionids travel at speeds estimated to exceed 140,000 miles per hour, and are occurring less than 100 miles above the Earth's surface. They follow another system of October meteors called the Draconids, which can be viewed during the first week of the month. The Orionids are a result of space debris left from Halley's Comet.
For what to expect in the evening sky above Twin Falls this week as we get closer to peak viewing times, click here for a daily astrological description.
To achieve the most optimal sighting of the Orionids, you'll want to view from the darkest possible area, away from the city lights.