Orionid Meteor Shower Best Viewed Tonight, See Halley’s Comet Shards Falling

The Orionid meteor shower will be crossing our skies overnight on Sunday, October 20, 2013.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Apophis asteroid is thought to have a chance of hitting Earth in 2036, but we could always try spray painting to prevent any damage (no joke).

But unlike those deadly NEAs (Near Earth Asteroids) the Orionid meteor shower tends to come every year at about the same time frame, usually between October 20 and October 22. The 2013 meteor shower will peak tonight between Midnight and dawn.

The Orionids tend to produce about 10 to 15 meteors in the sky per hour and can be seen as streaks against the sky. That’s about a third as many as are visible in the Perseids or December’s Geminids meteor shower.

Unfortunately, NASA says the moon will affect the light show provided by the Orionid meteor shower:

“Moonlit skies from a bright waning gibbous moon make this a less than favorable year for viewing. However, the Orionids are known for being bright meteors, so there still might be a good show in the early hours before dawn.”

The Orionid meteor shower is produced by Earth passing through the shards left behind Halley’s comet. So what you are seeing as flashes of light are ice and dust debris hitting the Earth’s atmosphere and igniting.

Despite the less than ideal conditions, you should still be able to watch the Orionid meteor shower and some people are already starting to report some streaks in light on the United States east coast.