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Stargazers Look Up! Orionid Meteor Shower On Display This Month

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Hey stargazers, look up.  The Orionid meteor shower occurs every year from around October 2 to November 7.

Earth is passing through the stream of debris left behind by Comet Halley which was here last in 1986 and is expected to return in 2061.

While the meteor shower is called the Orionids, it has nothing to do with the constellation Orion the Hunter. The shower gets that name because that is where the meteors will appear to radiate from. One of the more well-known constellations and easily found in the winter night sky, Orion can be seen now rising in the southeastern sky each night.

Look for the belt of three stars, to the left of that is the red supergiant star Betelguese. That is near the radiant point of the Orionid meteor shower. The best time to view these fast-moving meteors will be after midnight to just before dawn. Find a dark spot and give your eyes time to adjust, keep an eye near Orion but know that the meteors can appear at any point in the sky.

Orionid meteors are faint but fast, slamming into the Earth's atmosphere at 41 miles per second. Small particles left behind by Comet Halley will be vaporizing at about 60 miles above the surface, creating a brief trail of light you can see over the next few weeks.

This year's Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak the morning of October 21, unfortunately the bright moon may interfere with that this year.

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