Anytime there is a meteor shower or other celestial event in the sky, those of us here in West Texas get a spectacular view.  It is only a short drive until we get out where the city lights dim and the night sky comes alive.

During this time of year, many believe that there are paranormal things in the sky. While we can't be sure you'll see UFO's or Witches in the night sky this Halloween season, you're sure to see some other spectacular sights.

The Orionids Meteor Shower is one of the best showers of the year. These meteors are created by debris left behind by Halley's Comet.  They are at their peak this weekend. There can be as many as 25 meteors visible each hour.  Get up early, before sunset, for the best views.

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These meteors will also be viewable from almost any point in the evening sky.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash
Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The International Space station will also be visible in the West Texas sky. The space station travels at 17,150 miles an hour at an orbital inclination of about 52 degrees to the equator.  It circles the globe every 90 minutes at 250 miles about the earth. Here's when and where to see it over the next few days.

Fri Oct 21, 6:48 AM5 min33°17° above W10° above NNE
Sat Oct 22, 6:03 AM3 min46°46° above NNE10° above NE
Sun Oct 23, 5:17 AM< 1 min10°10° above NE10° above NE
Sun Oct 23, 6:50 AM3 min13°12° above NW10° above N
Mon Oct 24, 6:05 AM1 min14°14° above N10° above NNE

Another thing you won't see in the West Texas sky beginning on October 25th is the moon.  The New moon will peak October 25th at 548am.  That means there is zero light from the moon in the sky.  This creates an amazing opportunity to bring out your telescope or even binoculars to see stars that are usually obscured by moonlight.

Photo by Çağlar Oskay on Unsplash
Photo by Çağlar Oskay on Unsplash

There are many myths about the New Moon that coincide with the terrors of Halloween season. In fact, there is an old English tradition that peril will befall you if you gaze directly at the New Moon.  The good news is you can protect yourself easily by praying to the New Moon and ending it with these words:

“May you leave us as safe as you found us!”

Hopefully the witches and UFO's out there will do the same.



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