THE ORIONID METEOR SHOWER Peaks Very Soon!

Tough to beat conditions like this for some autumn stargazing with the Big Dipper over Lake Washington and Orion rising over the Cascades

The crisp, cool and clear night is the flawless condition to watch the first major fall celestial show: the Orionid meteor shower.

Will you be watching out for the meteor shower?

There's good news and bad news about this year's Orionid meteor shower, which should throw off some beauties before dawn on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, before it reaches its peak early Monday.

The shower peaks on October 21, but the meteors may be visible as early as today after midnight.

The Orionid meteor shower isn't the most productive shower of the year, but its closeness to the easy-to-spot Orion and its association with Halley's comet make it a well-known one.

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NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told Space.com that the moon may wash some meteors out, but about 15-20 should be visible per hour. The best time to watch is after midnight, with the greatest number of meteors in the predawn hours.

This means that stargazers should move as far away from the city lights as possible.

The place to look is in the southern to eastern sky.

The Orionids meteor shower occurs in the autumn months every year. It takes the comet 76 years to orbit the sun, so it will enter Earth's atmosphere in 2061.

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