Look up during a dark and clear night over the next couple weeks and you might get a chance to wish upon a shooting star. Two different meteor showers can be seen over Colorado right now and will be visible for quite some time.
The Orionids meteor shower is considered a medium-strength shower that has potential to peak at high-strength levels, active from September 26 to November 22. During the typical year, this meteor shower produces about 10 to 20 meteors during peak hours, though it can produce up to 50 to 75 per hour on standout years. It's set to peak on the night of October 20, though a full moon may limit visibility.
The Southern Taurids meteor shower is also active, considered a long-lasting meteor shower set to take place this year from September 28 through all of October and until December 2. While this event doesn't produce many meteors – rarely more than five an hour – it will peak on the night of November 4 when the moon is 0 percent full. If skies are clear, this will be great for visibility.
While waiting for a peak night might mean looking up at the highest number of meteors in either of these events, each shower is already sending meteors across the sky and can be seen right now. Meteors from each shower were even visible last night in the downtown Colorado Springs, though it is recommended that one heads to a darker area with less light pollution for a better view.
If you're hoping to spot these meteor showers, one of the easiest ways to locate them is with the help of a smart phone app. Those using Apple products can use 'Night Sky X,' which allows the user to hold their phone to the sky to identify constellations and extraterrestrial objects.
Read more about these meteor showers here.
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