Jul 26, 2014

Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Brookline

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

Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Brookline


The offspring of Halley's Comet will soon put on quite a show in the skies of Brookline.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning Monday, Oct. 15, which will give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later.

Where's a good place to view the shower in Brookline in the coming week? The Clay Center for Science and Technology, 20 Newton St., is the astronomical observatory and learning center of the Dexter and Southfield Schools. The Clay Center is hosting a public telescope night Oct. 16 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

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.

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. 

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