The Orionids return to San Antonio's sky

The Orionids return to Earth's sky

It's the second largest meteor shower visible from the United States, the Orionids. But where did these meteors come from and how did they get the name Orionids?

The San Antonio League of Sidewalk Astronomers gathered for a beautiful night of stargazing. But tonight they're joined by special guests who only come around once a year.

"Back in the late '80s or early '90s one fell on the East Coast and it was captured by a lot of high school football parents and actually fell and hit a car. Hit the trunk of a car I believe in New Jersey," said Bryan Tobias, Manager of the Curtis Vaughan Observatory at UTSA

But most of these meteors aren't close to that big. Tobias said, "The falling stars that you are going to see are not very close.They are in essence approximately 70 to 100 miles up and moving really fast and that quick burn and they burn up and they are gone."

The Orionid Meteor Shower gets its name, because the majority of the meteors appear to pass through the constellation Orion. Tonight you could see as many as 25 meteors per hour.

That's the most this year because the peak of the shower happens between October 20 and 21. The best time to look for the falling stars is between midnight and dawn, and in the southeast sky.

"Lay down, look straight up and use your vision of the night sky. It's going to be really clear tonight, may be a little chilly, so take some blankets and just look straight up," said Tobias.

The meteor shower or shooting stars we see become visible when the Earth passes through a comet's tail, and in this case, its the famous Halley's Comet.

(© 2016 KENS)


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