Colorado Sky Watchers Preparing For Spectacular Meteor Shower Peak
Colorado sky watchers and star gazers should have their eyes fixed on the nighttime sky if they want to see a spectacular meteor shower.
A Meteor Shower You Don't Want To Miss
The annual Orionid meteor shower is currently underway but will peak on October 21. The Orionids shower is one you don't want to miss because NASA calls it "one of the most beautiful showers of the year." The meteor shower is active from September 26 until November 22.
According to NASA, the Orionid meteors are known for their brightness and speed. Because of their location in the sky, they are also framed by some of the brightest stars which make for a pretty amazing view if conditions are right.
Where Do the Orionids Come From?
The Orionids are part of the debris trail of the famous Halley's Comet. Every year, planet Earth travels through an area of space that is "littered with debris" from the comet, which was last seen by casual observers in 1986, It takes Halley's comet about 76 years to go around the sun, which means it won't be back in the inner solar system again until 2061.
How Many Meteors Will You See?
During the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, you can expect about 15 meteors per hour. The glowing space debris can be seen for several seconds - and in some cases minutes - as it streaks across the sky.
Where Is A Good Place To View Meteors Around Grand Junction?
For the best viewing, you'll want to get away from the lights of the city and hope for a cloudless sky. The meteors should be available after midnight. Here are some suggestions for good viewing locations in the Grand Junction area.
- Glade Park
- Rabbit Valley
- Grand Mesa
- Escalante pull-off on Highway 50 between Grand Junction and Delta
Where Should You Look To See the Orionids Meteor Shower?
To view the meteor shower you should look toward the constellation, Orion, though the constellation isn't actually the source of the meteors. The best way to watch for meteors is to lie flat on your back with your feet facing the southeast. The next best option will be a comfortable lawn chair that allows you to lay your head all the way back to gaze up at the sky.
The key to meteor watching is to be patient. If you can get away from the city lights and have minimal moonglow, you will see meteors. It's possible they won't be happening as frequently as you might expect. Another tip is to be sure and dress warm, and bring a blanket. If you are cold you'll find it more difficult to wait on the meteors. Bring along some hot chocolate or coffee and enjoy the show.