Two meteor showers will put on dazzling shows this week

Local News

Orionid meteors shoot passed the Milky Way and Venus. (Credit: Brocken Inaglory)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Oh, how the stars shine for you! It’s no secret we live in one of the best areas to view the dazzling sights of the night sky, and we’re in for a special treat this week. The Draconids and Southern Taurids will reach their peaks this week.

Tonight will be the best night to view meteors from the Draconids, a very low-strength shower that produces about five or less meteors an hour. The time to catch them will be early evening, when nightfall begins.

The Southern Taurids have been active since Sept. 10 and will continue until Nov. 20. You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled, though, as the shower produces a mere five fireballs an hour, even at its peak, according to the American Meteor Society. Regardless of the small amount, the shower is known for having stunning fireballs, or very bright meteors. NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke told the best time to view the Taurids is in the early morning, just before dawn.

But wait, it gets better! You’ll have a third chance to revel in the beauty of the night sky when one of history’s most renowned showers peaks: the Orionids. The event will reach its pinnacle from Oct. 21-22. The event started last Wednesday and will continue through Nov. 7. NASA says the medium-strength shower produces around 15 meteors per hour in moonless skies, and the best viewing time is in the dead of night, around 2 a.m. The Orionids originate from Halley’s Comet.

The low Wednesday night will be 54 degrees, and Thursday’s will be 45. Make sure to bundle up, grab a few friends and sit out on the back porch for the show. Even if you don’t catch a glimpse of a fireball, the moon will be 87 percent full, a sight within itself.

Enjoy the great outdoors!

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