By Chief Meteorologist Larry Mowry

It may have been a long time since you have heard the words “Halley’s Comet”.  The last time what is arguably the most famous comet made an appearance was in 1986.  And it won’t be seen again until 2061.  But Saturday night into Sunday morning is when you will have a chance to see a meteor shower thanks to Halley’s Comet.

This meteor shower will be caused by debris that has fallen off of Halley’s Comet.  The earth on its orbit around the sun is passing thru this debris trail as we speak.  The peak time for debris to hit the earth will be Saturday night (Oct. 20) thru Sunday morning (Oct. 21).  Starting around 11pm to before the sun comes up Sunday is the projected peak time for viewing.  It is estimated if you are in a rural area with not much light pollution that you could see 25 meteors per hour.

This meteor shower is called the “Orionid Meteor Shower”.  You would think it was called Halley’s meteor shower, but meteor showers are named from which part of the sky they originate, not was causes them.  So the place to look to see this meteor shower is to the right of Orion’s belt.  That will generally by the southeastern sky Saturday night.

perseid shower Meteor Shower Thanks To Halleys Comet


You may have heard Halley’s Comet pronounced Hail-Lee or Hall-Lee.  It is believed that Sir Edmond Halley pronounced his name “Hall-Lee”.  But popular culture often refers to it as “Hail-Lee’s” Comet.  One reason for this change is probably the popularity of the 1950’s rock group…  Bill Haley and the Comets.  And hence the confusion began.  So should I call it Hall-Lee or Hail-Lee on TV tonight?

Larry Mowry

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