One of the year’s best sky shows will peak this weekend between Oct. 20 and 22, when the Orionid meteor shower reaches its best viewing.
The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest and brightest among meteor showers, because the Earth is hitting a stream of particles almost head on.
The particles come from Comet 1P/Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet. This famous comet swings by Earth every 75 to 76 years, and as the icy comet makes its way around the sun, it leaves behind a trail of comet crumbs. At certain times of the year, Earth’s orbit around the sun crosses paths with the debris.
“You can see pieces of Halley’s Comet during the Eta Aquarids [in May] and the Orionid meteor shower [in October and November],” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said.