The moon and meteors light up the night

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On International Observer Moon Night you have a great opportunity to check out the full moon, most of the clear skies over the Western Washington will provide an opportunity to see the peak of Orionid meteor shower.

The moon will be seen in the sky all night long washing out most of the Orionids’ fainter flashes, right after the few days’ people can see the moon’s full phase. The most important thing is that it will be weekend so you can just go to your home town and can enjoy this charming scenery by the side of your family.

Your meteor-viewing experience of yours will be taking full advantage of the dark and clear skies, these skies tend to look even darker as well as clear when you see it after going far away from the city lights. The foggy conditions of the weather will also expect to affect it and it will develop in the central Puget Sound area. Each year around October 20-21 when Earth swings through a trail of cosmic grit left behind by Halley’s Comet then the Orionids build up to a peak.

orionid meteor flashes
NASA / MSFC Photo

This year the meteor count isn’t showing the prolific as it can rise to 50 meteor sightings per hour and the forecast calls for 15 to 20 sightings under optimal viewing conditions.

The Orion can flash in any location in the sky as they seem to initiate from a point in the constellation Orion, so it will be great if you keep your field of view as wide as possible and if you want to minimize the moon’s glare, try to find a viewing spot where buildings, trees or mountains that blocks out the moon in western skies during the optimal post-midnight hours.

There are top five locations for the best meteor-viewing and the weather prediction of the weekend shows that there are chances of clearer skies are better at higher elevations and NASA schedules the occasion for when the moon is not quite full, so that a close look reveals the shadows and the terminator line between light and dark on the lunar surface.

Hundreds of events are on the schedule, including a smattering in Western Washington, so bring your binoculars or your telescope plus something warm to wear when the sun goes down.

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