PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Skygazers get ready—an annual display of shooting stars is on its way.
If weather conditions are right and you’re away from city lights, you may be able to see the Orionid meteor shower Monday night into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
“The glow you see, the streak you see, is hot air left behind by the hot meteorite,” explained Edward Guinan, professor of astronomy and planetary science at Villanova University. He said those meteorites are debris left from Halley’s comet, which passes Earth every 76 years.
“What happens is that around this time of year,” said Guinan, “the Earth moves into the debris path and so what happens is these chunks of sand, rocks all fall to the earth and they burn up for the most part.”
According to Guinan, when it comes to the amount of shooting stars, it will most likely be an average to slightly above-average year. He advised the light of the moon could hamper visibility, so the best time to view would most likely be somewhere around be 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.
“The prediction is several a minute, but that’s only in dark places,” Guinan said. “So in a place where there is some light contamination, you might see one every five minutes.”