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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Culver City?

Shooting stars will be flying this weekend. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching. Culver City High School Earth, Science and Astronomy teacher weighs in on the best place to watch.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies of Martha's Vineyard Patch.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet (it began 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.

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.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch. Obviously, you'll have more luck catching the shooting stars if you're in a place not polluted by light. Also, large, open spaces offer great, unobstructed views of the sky — if there aren't too many trees getting in the way. And, there is always the beach.

Culver City High School's Earth, Science and Astronomy teacher Denise Greenberg told Patch, "It's a bit of a challenge to see [this] or any meteor shower in an urban environment because of the light pollution."

However, she said Culver City residents might be able to see the shower at the top of Bill Botts Park or on the Culver City High/Middle School field especially if the lights are turned off. Failing that, she suggested heading to the nearby beaches.

So 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.

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Ashley Ramirez October 19, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Orionids 2012 meteor shower Live! http://bit.ly/ONZNMP

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