Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Falls Church

Shooting stars from the Orionids meteor shower will be flying early in the morning next week over Falls Church.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning this Monday, which means Falls Church skywatchers will get to see the annual Orionids meteor shower.

The meteor shower will build throughout the week and peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20.

Try to head to a darker area of the city, away from the strong lights of major roadways. 

Space.com has these viewing tips:

Meteor showers are best viewed in really dark skies. Try to keep the moon out of your field of vision.

This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight Saturday night into Sunday, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

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 twinsLeo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see (aside from the sun).

With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionidsproduce 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!


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