Between late Monday night and early Tuesday morning will be the peak time to watch the Orionid meteor shower, according to USA Today.
The Orionids are “in the top five meteor showers of the year,” Dave Samuhel, an astronomy blogger for AccuWeather, told USA Today.
Here’s what you can expect from the night skies tonight, and some tips on how to watch.
What to expect from the Orionid meteor shower
NASA calls the Orionids “one of the most beautiful meteor showers of the year,” according to the BBC.
The meteors are also among the fastest and brightest. They enter earth’s atmosphere at about 148,000 miles per hour, and faster meteors sometimes turn into “fireballs” that are visible in the sky as “prolonged explosions of light,” according to NASA.
Around 20 to 25 meteors per hour will be visible during the peak night of the shower, according to USA Today.
How to watch
After midnight will be the best time to spot the meteors once the constellation Orion has risen, according to USA Today.
Here are some tips from NASA on how best to view the shower between Monday night and Tuesday morning:
- Choose carefully where to watch. Find a viewing area away from city or street lights.
- Come prepared. The shower will last until dawn, so bring a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair.
- Position yourself well. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, lie flat on your back with your feet facing the southeast. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, lie with your feet facing the northeast.
- Be patient. It can take up to 30 minutes for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Meteors will be visible until dawn, so there is plenty of time to spot them.