The Orionid Meteor Shower will peak Saturday night into Sunday morning, allowing viewers of the night sky to enjoy a spectacular show as bits of Halley’s comet pass through the atmosphere.
The shower promises viewers up to 60 meteors per minute in some areas, and unlike the days before live internet streaming, even bad weather can’t spoil your view of the shooting stars, according to Space.com.
NASA scientists expect the 2012 Orionid Meteor Shower to peak early on Sunday, but considering the stunning display Californians were treated to a few days ago, stargazers will see an impressive show all weekend.
NASA will be live streaming meteor shower views from its all-sky camera at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Bill Cooke, a meteor expert at NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, stated:
“Earth it passing through a stream of debris from Halley’s Comet, the source of the Orionids. Flakes of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us dozens of meteors per hour.”
Discovery News notes that the Earth will pass through the densest part of Halley’s Comet’s debris stream just before sunrise on Sunday morning, giving night owls a perfect reason to stay up all night and watch the show.
The Orionid Meteor Shower was named after the constellation Orion, because the meteors appear to radiate out of the constellation. If you have good enough weather, the meteor shower can be seen without the aid of a telescope. Just before dawn, viewers will want to look south to see the show.
If there are too many clouds in the sky, or it’s too cold, then NASA’s live stream, which can be seen below, will begin Saturday night at 11 pm EDT and will end Sunday morning at 3 am EDT. You can also click here to see NASA’s live chat, which will start shortly before 11 pm.