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Good Chance of Seeing 15 Meteors per Hour on Oregon Coast This Weekend

Published 11/16/2018 at 5:49 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Good Chance of Seeing 15 Meteors per Hour on Oregon Coast This Weekend

(Oregon Coast) – There's a lot of space debris hitting the Earth right now, and the Oregon coast may get a glimpse of it.

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Jim Todd, astronomy expert with Portland’s OMSI, said the Leonid Meteor shower is peaking this weekend, thanks to gobs of tiny particles from comet Tempel-Tuttle hitting the planet. Todd said scientists expect the weekend peaks to hit around 15 meteors per hour, and luckily for the Oregon coast and most of Oregon there will be clear skies.

Look for Saturday and Sunday night to have the most fireballs, Todd said.

“Usually the most meteors fall in the dark hours before dawn,” Todd said. “The waxing gibbous moon sets around 2:00 a.m. this weekend.”

Some spectacular sights were already caught by cameras.

“Last night, NASA's network of all-sky meteor cameras detected five Leonid fireballs over the USA, numbers that will grow as we enter the weekend,” Todd said.

Todd said the Leonids have a pleasant reputation for “storming.”

The Earth is drifting through a dense cloud of dusty debris from the comet right now, which makes for what can be thousands of meteor per hour appearing to come out of the constellation Leo – although that number only happens a few times a century. In 1833, the world saw some 100,000 Leonids each hour. The storms of 1998, ‘99, 2001 and 2002 also yielded incredible numbers.

This is not a storm year, however, according to SpaceWeather.com. The filament this planet is passing through is not very dense. In fact, it’s zooming between the thicker areas.

The weather for the Oregon coast looks bright and clear at night. Saturday and Sunday will be sunny during the day, and then mostly to completely clear in the evenings. Nighttime lows will be around the upper 40s, which will make it chilly. Make sure you dress appropriately.

If there’s a lot of mist head to higher areas, like the overlooks above Manzanita, Cape Foulweather near Depoe Bay, and the overlooks near Yachats. Most beaches of the coastline should be prime for viewing, however. See more of these high vantage spots below.

More for stellar sights during the day, see the new Oregon Coast Sky Cams - Web Cams page. You'll find a growing list of known and unknown cams, including Yachats, Depoe Bay, Seaside, Cape Kiwanda and more.

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