Do you have plans for the weekend? Make sure, whatever you are doing, to glance at the sky Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
Mother nature promises quite a celestial show.
The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks this weekend, with the best viewing time set for overnight Saturday. That's when the Earth will pass directly through some of the left-over tail fragments of Haley's Comet.
While not the biggest shower of the year, the Orionids should provide 15 to 20 shooting stars per hour. Another plus for viewing this weekend: the moon sets early Saturday night. That means the sky will be nice and dark for viewing.
So, where do you look? That's easy. Meteor showers are usually named after the constellation they originate from. Orion and its famous three-star belt is a favorite feature in the fall and winter sky.
Just look to the southeast and you'll find it. Most of the shooting stars will originate from Orion's club. They'll then streak across Taurus and Gemini and finally through Sirius, the Dog Star.
Another special feature about this particular meteor shower will be the colors. With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, many of the streaks take on shades or orange and green. Many will also produce brief fireballs in the sky.