From Wednesday night into Thursday morning, gaze up for a spectacular meteor show, undisturbed by moonlight. Every October, Earth travels through the debris of Halley’s Comet, creating the Orionid meteors.
The best time to view the Orionid meteor shower is between midnight and dawn, no matter the time zone. Bits of dust from Halley’s Comet will hit Earth’s atmosphere, producing around 12 meteors per hour. Showers will be at the highest rate before sunrise.
What makes 2015 special for the Orionids? Viewing conditions will be ideal with very little light: The gibbous moon will be setting around 12:30 a.m. on the West Coast.
Look in the direction of the constellation Orion. The meteors will seem to be originating from this spot in the sky. You’ll find Orion by its three bright stars (his belt) aligned together. Orion’s belt always points to the brightest star in the sky, Sirius.
Set your alarms a few hours before dawn for the best meteor show. But if you’ve got bad viewing conditions, you can still catch a live stream of the shower from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center starting on October 21 at 7 p.m. PT via Ustream.