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2012 Final Peak of the Orionids Possibly Before Dawn Sunday

Did you have the chance to see the meteor shower in Laguna Niguel early Sunday morning?

They're back and we want to know if saw any meteors in Laguna Niguel Sunday morning.

The Orionid meteor shower was expected to possibly rain down its greatest number of meteors before dawn today. A crescent moon was expected to set  early Saturday evening so – if you watched between midnight and dawn here in Laguna Niguel – you miight have seen some meteors.

Earlier in the week Northern Calfornia residents up and down the Central Vallery and the Bay area, said they witnessed a huge fireball in the sky, and scientist say it was debris from Halley's Comet. Watch the video here.

Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento suggested it may have been part of the Orionid meteor shower that peaks Sunday. 

Technically, meteors are sometimes referred to as shooting stars, but scientists at NASA, say they aren’t really stars. Actually, more like space debris burning up in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Orionid meteors, called so because they streak out of the consellation Orion, are debris left behind by Comet Halley, one of the most famous of all comets which last visited Earth in 1986.

This time around, the comet was supposes to leave debris in its wake as it strikes Earth’s atmosphere most fully between Oct. 20-22. Such an act happens while Earth intersects the comet’s orbit, as it does every year at this time, says NASA.

Locally, eighth grade Laguna Niguel Science teacher, Marguerite L. Gaspar, said if you can ever catch a metoer show, it is worth waiting around. 

"Yes, I'm in favor of meteors," said Gaspar who teaches at Niguel Hills Middle School. "The Orionids are supposed to be a good show ... Peak times on Sunday should be between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.  We have some difficulty in South O.C. as the marine layer often interferes with our enjoyment. My advice is for those who enjoy a good show, to get up very, very early, and drive inland and upward for a clear view, as far away from city lights as possible."   

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NASA offers these tips for viewing:

  • Watch for meteors from any place as long as there is a dark sky. For example, your backyard or deck, the hood of your car, the side of a road. 
  • Bring a blanket or lawn chair, and binoculars.
  • Dress warm, and bring your camera or video cam.

If you snap any great photos or video, send them to Debbie.Sklar@patch.com.

Peter Hornby October 20, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Don't bother with binoculars - they're no help in watching meteors.. Just bring your eyes and your patience, make yourself comfortable, keep warm and enjoy the show..
Debbie L. Sklar October 20, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Thanks Peter, hopefully the marine layer won't prevent us from catching a glimpse.
Ettore Greco October 21, 2012 at 03:49 AM
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