The offspring of Halley's Comet are about to put on quite a show in the skies over Lake Forest and Lake Bluff this weekend.
Earth passed through a stream of debris from Halley's Comet beginning Oct. 15, which will give us the benefit of the annual Orionids meteor shower—though the peak excitement won't come til this weekend.
Our best bets for the top spot to watch the shower? Definitely Deer Path Community Park (the 25.6 acres of land ensure that you'll have plenty of space to yourself) and Townline Community Park (the new playground promises plenty of fun for antsy kids while you're waiting for the stars to come out). For those willing to brave the lake winds, the Forest Park Beach promises an unforgettable show in the skies – with the added benefit of a lakeview right in front of you.
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 should be able to see up to 15 meteors per hour.
What makes this shower so cool? First of all, c'mon—it's a show of shooting stars.
Also, though, 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 twins, Leo 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.