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Orionid Meteor Shower Top Viewing Expected Wednesday, Thursday Nights

LOS ANGELES ( — Those who turn their eyes skywards over the coming nights will be looking in hopes of getting a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower, as skies in the Los Angeles area forecast to be mostly clear.

The Orionid shower started on October 2 and is expected to continue through November 7. Wednesday and Thursday nights, however, are said to be the peak nights for viewing, according to experts at the Griffith Observatory.

The best times for viewing are after "moonset", at 12:31 a.m., continuing through until dawn, at 5:49 a.m.

Skygazers could see as many as 20 meteors per hour as they stream out of their "radiant point" in the club of constellation Orion the Hunter.

The Orionids are considered among the most popular meteors. They are particles shed by the galaxy's most well-known comet, Halley's Comet.

These particles can be seen streaking across the sky as they hit our planet's atmosphere at roughly 41 miles per second.

Another meteor shower, for those who are unable to stay awake this week, will present itself in a couple weeks time.

The Leonids shower is scheduled to begin on November 6, and will continue through November 30. The Leonids meteors are particles from the Tempel-Tuttle Comet, and will best be seen between midnight and dawn, with top viewing opportunities expected on November 18-19.

The meteors will be seen emanating from the "sickle" of the Leo the Lion constellation, as the name indicates. Roughly 12 meteors per hour can be expected during that shower.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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