Vibrant meteors to light up West Michigan sky

An astronomer observes the Orionids in Bulgaria Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Don’t be surprised if you see a meteor or two sailing across the night sky this week. The Orionid meteor shower peaked early Tuesday and lasts through Wednesday.

According to NASA, the shower will average 20 meteors per hour. Because of their speed, some may appear as fireballs shooting across the sky.


This shower is nothing new. It happens every year around this time. It’s caused when Earth spins through a trail of dust and debris left over from Halley’s Comet.

The meteors will appear to be coming out of the constellation Orion. If you look to the east on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, Orion will be high in the sky. Meteors will appear to shoot out from “the shoulder” of Orion, according to NASA.

orionid meteor shower constellations

Even though this shower doesn’t produce a ton of meteors, it produces spectacular ones. Each piece of debris that slams into Earth’s atmosphere gets burned up in a glorious streak of color.

The shower peaked early Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, clouds will block most of West Michigan from the action. Skies do clear out Wednesday, so our best bet of spotting any of these “fireballs” will be just before dawn on the Oct. 22, when the moon is only 5 percent full.

orionid meteor shower cloud and moon conditions

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