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Orionids Meteor Shower 2012: Check Out the Sky for Shooting Stars

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21.

California skies will be showered with shooting stars through Saturday night thanks to the offspring of Halley's Comet.

On Monday, Oct. 15, Earth began passing through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet, giving us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though you probably won't see much until later in the week.

The shower should be at its peak the night of Saturday, Oct. 20, until just before dawn on Oct. 21. This year, the moon will be setting at approximately midnight, which will keep the sky darkened enough that—barring cloud cover—you could see up to 15 meteors per hour.

There's no question about where to look for this one. Meteor showers get their names from the constellations in the sky where they can be spotted. And what's easier to spot than Orion the Hunter?

The stars tend to shoot from Orion's club, pierce Taurus the Bull, the Gemini twinsLeo the Lion and finally, Canis Major, home of Sirius, the brightest star we can see—well, aside from the sun.

There's also something else that's special about this show: With the second-fastest entry velocity of all the annual meteor showers, meteors from the Orionids produce yellow and green colors, and occasionally produce an odd fireball.

To make sure you get the best view possible, remember to check the weather forecast and conditions before you head outside to watch.

Will you check out the skies to see the shooting stars? Upload your photos or send them to liz.spear@patch.com.

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