A triple treat: Clear skies, the aurora and a meteor shower

The Aurora Hunter, Todd Salat, captured this shot of a meteor while he was doing a test shot of...
The Aurora Hunter, Todd Salat, captured this shot of a meteor while he was doing a test shot of the aurora building of the Wrangell Mountains.(Todd Salat)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 7:42 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An interesting intersection of events is possible this week: active aurora, a meteor shower and clear skies.

The Orionids meteor shower will peak Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning. It’s not a terribly active meteor shower but holds the possibility of 10 to 20 meteors per hour. The meteors appear to radiate near the raised arm of the Orion constellation. It’s not necessary to look at the constellation. The best plan is to find a dark place with little light pollution and a broad expanse of sky.

Alaska has an excellent chance to view the Orionids Wednesday morning — weather willing.

The Orionids are created debris left behind by the Comet Halley collides with Earth’s atmosphere. Halley’s Comet last passed by Earth in 1986.

Active aurora

The aurora forecast from several sources indicates active and highly active aurora starting Tuesday night and just getting brighter through the weekend. Similar to viewing the meteors, getting away from light pollution is the best way to view the aurora.

If you get amazing pictures of the aurora and/or a meteor, we’d love to see it. Upload your best photos and videos at Alaska’s News Source.

It’s all weather-dependent

Of course to witness the aurora and the meteors — and maybe the chance to see both — clear skies will be needed. The good news is, we’re expecting as least good breaks in the clouds starting Tuesday evening and continuing through midday on Thursday. The clear skies will encompass large areas of Southcentral and the Interior. Watch/follow Alaska’s News Source for the latest or download the Alaska Weather Source app for the conditions in your area.

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