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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Swampscott

Shooting stars will be flying early in the morning in Swampscott. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on a show.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning Oct. 15, which will give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until a bit later.

Local astronomer James Keating has seen seen the Orionids shower.

"The best place to watch is anywhere the sky is dark, but remember there are no guarantees that you will see any," James told us. "So one should always have a chair, blanket, etc. to enable one to sit back, look up and enjoy the night sky and maybe be lucky enough to see a meteor."

James, a retired Marblehead High School science teacher and the school's golf coach, said the most distinctive thing about the Orionids is they are associated with the dust trail left by Halley's comet.

"When you see a meteror they are streaks of light produced by tiny dust particles entering Earth's upper atmosphere. Because of their high velocities and the friction with the atmosphere they burn up and that is what we see.

"Also, if you projected back in a straight line from where the meteor emanates from, the constellation nearest to this area names the shower. Therefore the Orionids radiate from the constellation Orion."

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

To start look for Orion the Hunter.

The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twins, Leo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see—well, aside from the sun.

There's also something else that's special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors and occasionally produce an odd fireball.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch. 

For information about New England astronomy groups check out this link.

David Arsenault October 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM
Saw 2 Jogging up @ the track 5:00am this morning, each one lasted only for a sec or less. Good spot higher up than the neighborhoods & wooded.
John October 21, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Maybe you should move up there so we do not have to read your CONSTANT complaining anymore !
powderpuff79 October 21, 2012 at 03:45 PM
was there any flooding there, dave?
David Arsenault October 21, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Hey http://www.google.com/imgres?q=john+and+jerry+show&num=10&hl=en&biw=1441&bih=654&tbm=isch&tbnid=-BmHm4u9E7HmjM:&imgrefurl=http://johnandjerryshow.com/&docid=q54IYu12pw3ohM&imgurl=http://johnandjerryshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/jandj_banner-for-web.jpg&w=960&h=198&ei=7l2EUMGmCLSC0QG1xICYDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=597&vpy=201&dur=1311&hovh=102&hovw=495&tx=206&ty=64&sig=108090511627437406278&page=1&tbnh=84&tbnw=306&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0,i:77 I was monitoring a training low pressure system from when it was in upstate N.Y., moving NNW very slowly. It missed our precious Swampscott by the sewer by 5miW and ended up hitting, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=flooding%20in%20me%2010%2F20%2F2012&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CC8QqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbangordailynews.com%2F2012%2F10%2F20%2Fnews%2Fbangor%2Fheavy-rains-causing-flooding-in-bangor%2F%3Fref%3Dlatest&ei=kl-EUNeTJsqw0AHw3oC4DA&usg=AFQjCNFZ3qVNAo0rkBjQq6sGAVSiitCXGg but I guess you 2 Morons knew that right??
David Arsenault October 21, 2012 at 09:33 PM
BTW I wasn't posting about the flood this time and think of what would have happend if this system Sat morning had tracked 5miE of where it had? How many more people like me would have been up in arms.
David Arsenault October 21, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Only would had been 13days since the anniv. of http://swampscott.patch.com/articles/swampscott-looks-back-a-year-since-the-deluge guess you 2 should had stayed quiet aye?
powderpuff79 October 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM
dave, we can no longer distinguish the signal from the noise. everything you say sounds like, "blahblahblahblahblahblahFLOODblahblahblahblahFLOODblahblahFLOODFLOOD"
David Arsenault October 21, 2012 at 11:23 PM
What does your alias John have to say? Are you a Selectman??
powderpuff79 October 22, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Let's play a game: if I were a selectman, which one do think i'd be...?
David Arsenault October 23, 2012 at 12:24 AM
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=swampscott+flood+damage&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1441&bih=654&tbm=isch&tbnid=Qwl0ATyGJIkuBM:&imgrefurl=http://swampscott.patch.com/articles/top-swampscott-patch-story-in-2011&docid=EqR9mdx9Rnr0OM&imgurl=http://o3.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/PATCH/resize/600x450/http://hss-prod.hss.aol.com/hss/storage/patch/586f01a0f6d80b32a98a0ee075209103&w=600&h=450&ei=g-KFUOObIKeD0QGi3YGQAQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=178&vpy=98&dur=641&hovh=194&hovw=259&tx=157&ty=116&sig=100011996054559770207&page=4&tbnh=123&tbnw=178&start=67&ndsp=29&ved=1t:429,r:59,s:20,i:312 Some Game http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=hurricane%20sandy&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&sqi=2&ved=0CCEQqQIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2012%2F10%2F22%2Ftropical-storm-sandy-2012_n_2003499.html&ei=GeOFUIyVBKPm0gGXmIGgDQ&usg=AFQjCNHwQAAZLCpnYa4K6xRdXhxlD50OqA http://www.google.com/imgres?q=dip+shit&num=10&hl=en&biw=1441&bih=654&tbm=isch&tbnid=4-Y08FODSYDMFM:&imgrefurl=http://themalephabet.wordpress.com/2009/06/09/dipshit-dip-shit/&docid=kj0UlotU4NjsJM&imgurl=http://themalephabet.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/dipshit-11.jpg%253Fw%253D450&w=381&h=385&ei=euOFUNDXC4q80QGGooHQAw&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=1174&vpy=131&dur=533&hovh=226&hovw=223&tx=177&ty=95&sig=100011996054559770207&page=1&tbnh=135&tbnw=143&start=0&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:6,s:0,i:89

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