If you’re not an avid star-gazer, chances are you’ve missed the Orionid Meteor Shower’s luminescent glow glittering above your head for the past couple days. If you’ve been more tethered to your smartphone than meteorology this week -- but love Harvest Moons -- don’t despair. Look towards the heavens tonight, as the grand finale of Orionid’s sublime display is set to reach its apex.
According to Mental Floss’ David W. Brown, the final shebang of the Orionid Meteor Shower is generated by Halley’s Comet, which returns to Earth’s orbit about every 75 years. Per Brown, we learn that when the comet enters Earth’s orbit, it leaves a trail of radiant orionids, or dust particles, in its wake. “When the Earth passes through that debris field, those particles slam into our atmosphere at tens of thousands of miles per hour, generating terrific streaks of light as they burn away,” he writes. This is much the same with any meteor shower, just for your future reference.
The spectacle is viewable with the naked eye, and holds the possibility of sending 20 meteors per hour racing across the sky, if conditions are clear. In case staying up into the deadened evening hours isn't appealing, the view is also quite good at dawn. If you go that route, find someplace comfortable to take a blanket and sip on a hot cup of coffee. Or, if you’re lazy, and prefer savoring natural phenomenon online, the event will be live streamed here. But please, don't do that.