Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 Orionids Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: Watch Live

Orionid meteor captured by a NASA all sky meteor camera.
Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/MEO


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida --   The 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower peaks overnight tonight and into the early morning of Tuesday, October 21, 2014.   Autumn's best meteor shower promises to be more spectacular than previous years thanks to dark skies from a New Moon that occurs on October 23.     


NASA will stream a live broadcast of the Orionid meteor shower online beginning tonight at 10 p.m. EDT for meteor watchers experiencing bad weather or light-polluted night skies.  The broadcast is located at the bottom of this article.



When is the best time to watch tonight's meteor shower?


The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.   


 
What are the best dates to watch the Orionid meteor shower in October 2014?


Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing.  The Moon will decrease in brightness every night until a New Moon occurs on October 23, 2014.  After the New Moon, the moonrise will not occur until after sunrise from the 24th through the 28th.  So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower's peak are October 21-24, 2014.


"We expect to see about 20 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Tuesday morning, Oct 21st," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal." 



Where to look for the 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower tonight:

Orion Constellation.  Image Credit: NASA
Find Orion's noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above).  Orion will be almost straight above the viewer's head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.


The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.  It is made up of debris left by Halley's Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon. 

U.S. Viewing Times For Partial Solar Eclipse on October 23

A partial solar eclipse in spaceImage Credit: NASA

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- On Thursday, October 23, 2014, a partial solar eclipse will be viewable to nearly everyone in the U.S. and Canada (with the exception of New England and Hawaii) just before sunset.


A partial solar eclipse is when the Moon passes in front of the Sun with a fraction of the Sun still remaining uncovered.  The portion of the Sun that the Moon will cover varies depending on the viewer's location.  


According to NASA, coverage in the U.S. will range from 12% in Florida to nearly 70% in Alaska.   The greatest eclipse will be seen from Canada's Nunavut Territory near Prince of Wales Island where the eclipse in the horizon will have a magnitude of 0.811 (81% coverage).


Warning: Don't stare. Even at maximum eclipse, a sliver of sun peeking out from behind the Moon can still cause pain and eye damage.  Direct viewing should only be attempted with the aid of a safe solar filter. 



Below are U.S. viewing times by city for the beginning of the partial Solar Eclipse on October 23, 2014.  All times are in local Daylight Savings Time:


Atlanta, GA 6:00 p.m. 
Austin, TX 4:54 p.m. 
Baltimore, MD 5:51 p.m. 
Boston, MA 5:47  p.m. 
Cape Canaveral, FL 6:16 p.m.
Chicago, IL 4:36 p.m.
Cleveland, OH 5:42 p.m. 
Columbia, SC 6:02  p.m. 
Dallas, TX 4:48 p.m. 
Denver, CO 3:18  p.m. 
Des Moines, IA 4:30 p.m. 
Detroit, MI 5:39 p.m. 
Harrisburg, PA 5:49 p.m. 
Hartford, CT 5:48  p.m. 
Houston, TX 4:59  p.m. 
Indianapolis, IN 5:43  p.m. 
Jackson, MS 4:58  p.m. 
Juneau, AK 12:10  p.m. 
Kansas City, MO 4:35 p.m. 
Lincoln, NE 4:28 p.m. 
Little Rock, AR 4:49 p.m. 
Los Angeles, CA 2:08 p.m. 
Louisville, KY 5:47 p.m. 
Memphis, TN 4:50  p.m. 
Miami, FL 6:27  p.m. 
Milwaukee, WI 4:33 p.m. 
Minneapolis, MN 4:23 p.m. 
Montgomery, AL 5:02  p.m. 
Nashville, TN 4:51  p.m. 
New Orleans, LA 5:05 p.m. 
New York, NY 5:49 p.m. 
Oklahoma City, OK 4:40 p.m. 
Olympia, WA 1:35  p.m. 
Philadelphia, PA 5:51 p.m. 
Portland, OR 1:37 p.m. 
Raleigh, NC 5:59 p.m. 
Richmond, VA 5:55  p.m. 
Sacramento, CA 1:52 p.m. 
Salem, OR 1:38  p.m. 
Salt Lake City, UT 3:05 p.m. 
San Antonio, TX 4:56 p.m. 
San Diego, CA 2:14 p.m. 
San Francisco, CA 1:52p.m. 
San Jose, CA 1:54  p.m. 
Santa Fe, NM 3:27 p.m.   
Seattle, WA 1:35  p.m. 
Springfield, IL 4:39 p.m. 
St. Louis, MO 4:41  p.m.  
Tallahassee, FL 6:09 p.m. 
Topeka, KS 4:34 p.m. 
Washington, DC 5:52  p.m.  


Eclipse times derived from:  “Eclipses During 2014,” F. Espenak, Observers Handbook: 2014, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. 

2014 Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: Watch Live

Orionid meteor captured by a NASA all sky meteor camera.
Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/MEO


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida --   The 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower peaks overnight tonight and into the early morning of Tuesday, October 21, 2014.   Autumn's best meteor shower promises to be more spectacular than previous years thanks to dark skies from a New Moon that occurs on October 23.     


NASA will stream a live broadcast of the Orionid meteor shower online beginning tonight at 10 p.m. EDT for meteor watchers experiencing bad weather or light-polluted night skies.  The broadcast is located at the bottom of this article.



When is the best time to watch tonight's meteor shower?


The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.   


 
What are the best dates to watch the Orionid meteor shower in October 2014?


Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing.  The Moon will decrease in brightness every night until a New Moon occurs on October 23, 2014.  After the New Moon, the moonrise will not occur until after sunrise from the 24th through the 28th.  So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower's peak are October 21-24, 2014.


"We expect to see about 20 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Tuesday morning, Oct 21st," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal." 



Where to look for the 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower tonight:

Orion Constellation.  Image Credit: NASA
Find Orion's noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above).  Orion will be almost straight above the viewer's head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.


The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.  It is made up of debris left by Halley's Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks: Where To Watch Tonight


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida --  The Orionid meteor shower became active on October 2, 2014 and should last through November 7, 2014.   According to NASA, Orionid meteor activity will increase during the predawn mornings leading up to October 21, 2014.    


When is the best time to watch the meteor shower tonight?


The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.   


 
What are the best dates to watch the Orionid meteor shower in October 2014?


Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing.  The Moon will decrease in brightness every night until a New Moon occurs on October 23, 2014.  After the New Moon, the moonrise will not occur until after sunrise from the 24th through the 28th.  So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower's peak are October 19-24, 2014.


"We expect to see about 20 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Tuesday morning, Oct 21st," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal." 



Where to look for the 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower:


Find Orion's noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above).  Orion will be almost straight above the viewer's head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.


The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.  It is made up of debris left by Halley's Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon. 


IMAGE CREDIT: NASA

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Meteor Shower Tonight October 18, 2014


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida --  The Orionid meteor shower became active on October 2, 2014 and should last through November 7, 2014.   According to NASA, Orionid meteor activity will increase during the predawn mornings leading up to October 21, 2014.    


When is the best time to watch the meteor shower tonight?


The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.   


 
What are the best dates to watch the Orionid meteor shower in October 2014?


Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing.  The Moon will decrease in brightness every night until a New Moon occurs on October 23, 2014.  After the New Moon, the moonrise will not occur until after sunrise from the 24th through the 28th.  So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower's peak are October 19-24, 2014.


"We expect to see about 20 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Tuesday morning, Oct 21st," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal." 



Where to look for the 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower:


Find Orion's noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above).  Orion will be almost straight above the viewer's head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.


The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.  It is made up of debris left by Halley's Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon. 


IMAGE CREDIT: NASA

Friday, October 17, 2014

Secret X-37B 'Mini-Shuttle' Lands In California

X-37B landing in 2012.  Credit: USAF video still.
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, California -- The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-3), the U.S. Air Force's unmanned, reusable space plane, landed at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 9:24 a.m. (PDT) on October 17, 2014, officials reported.



The OTV-3 launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. on November 27, 2012 and spent 674 days in space
conducting a secret military mission before returning to Earth.


 
The X-37B program are the only re-entry spacecraft the U.S. launches since the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet.  OTV-3 was a re-flight of OTV-1 launched in April 2010 and recovered at Vandenberg AFB Dec. 3, 2010 after 224 days on orbit.


 

Video of X-37B landing at Vandenberg AFB in 2012:


 

Watch The Orionid Meteor Shower Tonight


CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida --  The Orionid meteor shower became active on October 2, 2014 and should last through November 7, 2014.   According to NASA, Orionid meteor activity will increase during the predawn mornings leading up to October 21, 2014.    


When is the best time to watch the meteor shower tonight?


The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.   


 
What are the best dates to watch the Orionid meteor shower in October 2014?


Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing.  The Moon will decrease in brightness every night until a New Moon occurs on October 23, 2014.  After the New Moon, the moonrise will not occur until after sunrise from the 24th through the 28th.  So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower's peak are October 19-24, 2014.


"We expect to see about 20 meteors per hour when the shower peaks on Tuesday morning, Oct 21st," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office.  "With no Moon to spoil the show, observing conditions should be ideal." 



Where to look for the 2014 Orionid Meteor Shower:


Find Orion's noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above).  Orion will be almost straight above the viewer's head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.


The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion's bright star Betelgeuse.  It is made up of debris left by Halley's Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon. 


IMAGE CREDIT: NASA