Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in South County

Shooting stars will be flying early in the morning throughout south county. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies over Edgewater, Davidsonville and south county.

Earth passed through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet on Monday, which will start to give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later.

There are plenty of great places to witness the galactic event throughout the week. Below are some prime spots where local residents can watch the moon rise in Edgewater, Davidsonville and south county. 

  • Looking over the north side of the South River, by the Oak Grove Marina.
  • In the middle of any low-light field in the area. A casual drive through country roads in south county could do just the trick.
  • Anywhere near the Riva Road bridge.
  • The less light there is, the better chance you have of seeing the meteor shower. So do your best to avoid street lights, just don't break into any of the closed Anne Arundel County parks—they close after dusk. 

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

What makes this shower so cool? First of all, c'mon—it's a show of shooting stars.

Also, though, there's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than Orion the Hunter?

The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twins, Leo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see—well, aside from the sun.

There's also something else that's special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and occasionally produce an odd fireball.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch. 

Feel free to share other places where you can watch the meteor shower fill the sky. Tell me in the comments.


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