Gather your wishes and look up at the Beaufort sky this weekend

With our low level of ground light here in the Beaufort area, we should be able to wish upon a shooting star this weekend. . Photo by Delk Haigler

With our low level of ground light here in the Beaufort area, we should be able to wish upon a shooting star when the Orionoid meteor shower shows its stuff this weekend. Photo by Delk Haigler

Keep your eyes to the sky this weekend: You’ll be able to see one of the year’s best space shows — the peak of the Orionid meteor shower. The Orionid meteor shower will be at its best this weekend both tonight and tomorrow night, with it’s peak in the wee-early hours between midnight and dawn.  Beaufort should have a good view of the meteor show.

This is an annual event, however 2017’s will prove to be even more spectacular than usual. The Orionids were created from the famous Halley’s Comet, and should deliver a very impressive show this year according to experts. This happens every year as the Earth speeds through the dusty debris left behind by Halley’s Comet on its orbit around the Sun. Halley’s Comet itself will not return until 2061. It just recently visited the Earth in 1986, and it takes about 75 years for the comet to return. Halley’s Comet is easily visible with the naked eye. It’s one of the brightest comets seen in recorded history.

Though the meteors will emanate from the eastern horizon, they will streak across the entire sky and will be visible from anywhere on Earth, according to NASA. By dawn, they should be high in the Southern sky. The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest and brightest among meteor showers because the Earth is hitting the stream of particles almost head-on, according to Space.com.

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Shooting star is a common name for the visible path of a meteoroid as it enters the atmosphere and becomes a meteor. Watch for the Orionids or shooting stars, between midnight and dawn, as those are predicted to be peak times. You can expect to see dozens of meteors per hour during the peak hours. The best time to see them is going to be Friday and Saturday a few hours pre-dawn.

So wake up early or go to bed late, which ever you prefer, but don’t forget to gather up those wishes. It should end up being a beautiful light show in the sky. Grab a blanket, or some chairs and make an event of it. Beaufort has plenty of open sky to gaze at.  From our open spaces and our many docks, find the perfect spot.

If you miss this shower, you can still catch the Leonids in November and the Geminds in December. 

 

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