Orionid Meteor Shower Headed This Way

Moon likely to obscure comet dust
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2011 1:10 AM CDT
A Bulgarian astronomer observes the Orionids.   (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)

(Newser) – The annual Orionid meteor shower will peak just before dawn on Friday and Saturday this week —although the sight won't be as amazing in years past, astronomers say. The meteor shower—caused by Earth passing through a cloud of dust left behind by Halley's comet—will be hard to spot because of the large, waning crescent moon, experts say, but people who happen to be up at around 5 am either day might catch a glimpse, especially if they live away from city lights.

"It's not going to knock your socks off this year, but if you are out in the desert or up in the mountains, it is certainly worth a look," the manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office tells the Los Angeles Times.

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