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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Where to Watch in Half Moon Bay

Shooting stars will be flying across Half Moon Bay skies through Saturday. The Orionids meteor shower promises to be a show worth watching.

The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies of Half Moon Bay.

Earth will pass through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning today, 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.

On the Coast, the top of Montara Mountain, Pillar Point Air Force Station above Mavericks Beach in Princeton, and the coastal bluffs by Cowell Beach and the Ritz-Carlton hotel are just a few good viewing spots that come to mind.

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 fog cover—you should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.

What makes this shower so cool? It's a show of shooting stars!

Also, though, there's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than 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. 

Where do you think the best viewing spot is to watch the shower? Tell us in the comments.

If you get any good shots on your camera or phone, share them here by uploading them to this article!

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leighann October 16, 2012 at 04:52 AM
About what time would be ideal to watch the meteor shower?
Shelly Sikkema October 18, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I'm sitting in the hot tub on Grand View Blvd and Dwight Avenue - a huge ball of fire just shot through the sky over HMB - heading towards the peninsula! It was crazy! Scary! Awesome!
Susan Porter-Guarino October 18, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Sat. and Sunday are supposed to be the nights with the most meteors with the showers intensifying between now and then. Here's a great link for more info from earthsky.org http://earthsky.org/tonight/radiant-point-for-orionid-meteor-shower

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