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The Orionid meteor shower is expected to put on a good show tonight into the predawn hours Wednesday, weather permitting.
This annual meteor shower is created when Earth passes through trails of comet debris left in space long ago by Halley's Comet. The "shooting stars" develop when bits typically no larger than a pea , and mostly sand-grain-sized, vaporize in Earth's upper atmosphere.
"Flakes of comet dust hitting the atmosphere should give us dozens of meteors per hour," said Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.
The best time to look is before sunrise on Wednesday, Oct. 21st. That's when Earth encounters the densest part of Halley's debris stream. Observing is easy: Wake up a few hours before dawn, brew some hot chocolate, go outside and look up. No telescope is required to see Orionids shooting across the sky.