Mark your calendar for these 2017 meteor showers

Published: Friday, April 21, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest.  Contributed photo
Image from a dashcam video provided by Lisle Police Department in Lisle, Ill., shows a meteor as it streaked over Lake Michigan Feb. 6, 2017. The meteor lit up the sky across several states in the Midwest. Contributed photo

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast.

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  • Lyrids: Active April 16-25. Rates are usually 10-20 meteors per hour. The moon will be a waning crescent so the sky will be pretty dark. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very bright. The shower peaks pre-dawn April 22.
  • Eta Aquariids: Active April 19 to May 26. Rates are usually 10-30 meteors per hour. The moon is a waxing gibbous so it will shine bright in the sky. The shower peaks before dawn May 7.
  • Alpha Capicornids: Active July 11 to August 10. Only produces about five meteors per hour but is known to produce fireballs. The shower peaks July 26-27.
  • Delta Aquariids: Active July 21 to August 23. This shower is best in the southern hemisphere. There is usually a good number meteors the week surrounding the peak which is July 30.
  • Perseids: Active July 13 to August 26. This is an active shower that produces 50-70 meteors per hour. The peak night is August 11-12. The moon will be near full and might be bright.
  • Southern Taurids: Active September 7 to November 19. It is long but doesn’t have an impressive peak. You could see an increased chance for fireball sightings. The shower peaks October 9-10.
  • Orionids: Active October 4 to November 14. A typical year it can produce 20-25 meteors per hour. The shower peaks October 21-22.
  • Northern Taurids: Active October 19 to December 10. Can be active the same time as the Southern Taurids. The shower peaks November 10-11.
  • Leonids: Active November 5-30. The rates are usually about 15 meteors per hours but there can be outbursts some years. The shower peaks November 17-18.
  • Geminids: Active December 4-16. This is a great meteor shower during the year. They can have long tails and bright colors. The showers will peak December 13-14.
  • Ursids: Active December 17-23. The shower usually produces five to 10 meteors per hour but an outburst can take the rate up to 25 meteors per hour. The shower peaks December 21-22.

Clear skies for meteor shower this weekend

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 5:53 AM
Updated: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 3:20 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini has a look at how cool we get and how active the meteor shower will be this weekend.

After finding Venus and Mars early in the week, another special treat awaits you in the early morning sky this weekend! 

>> Advice for best viewing of meteor shower

The Orionid meteor shower will put on a good show Friday night into Saturday morning, and Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Debris from Haley's comet will hit Earth's atmosphere. The Orionid shower gets its name because the meteors look like they are coming  from the constellation Orion. This year, 10 to 30 meteors per hour are possible. 

>> Warming trend continues; lower temps arrive next week

This weekend skies will cooperate for great viewing of the Orionid meteor shower!

Temperatures will drop into the middle 50s overnight Saturday into Sunday. The moon will set around 8:14 p.m. so skies will remain dark. Some high clouds will be out there Saturday night, but overall it will still be a good night to view.

>> #SkyWitness7

Get outside and grab a blanket, find a dark spot with a good view of the sky and let your eyes adjust to the darkness. If you capture any photos share them using the hashtag #SkyWitness7!

Tips for viewing a meteor shower

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 7:55 AM

Here's what you need to know before you head outside.

Meteor showers are great events to enjoy at any age. When the sky cooperates, the bright show can keep you entertained for hours.

RELATED: Clear skies for meteor shower this weekend 

Viewing a meteor shower when the skies are clear and dark will set you up for success. Little or no moonlight means the meteors will be easier to see. Head outside after midnight and before dawn. You'll want to find a dark spot away from city lights and let your eyes adjust to the darkness.

RELATED: SkyWitness 7 

Make sure you are prepared for the forecast and dress warmly if you need to. You want to grab a sleeping bag or lawn chair and dedicate at least 30 minutes to looking across the night sky. You won't need a telescope or binoculars because they will limit how much sky is visible to you. The wider the view, the better. Remember to stay patient and enjoy! 

For a calendar of meteor showers throughout the year visit http://www.skywitness7.com

Fall colors nearing peak across Miami Valley

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 6:07 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about our color update from ODNR and forecast heading into the weekend.

Most of the Miami Valley is seeing peak or near peak fall color, according to the latest report from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The reds, oranges and yellows might not be as bright as they were in the past because of the mild start to the month. The cool nights and sunny days this week might help a few slow changing trees to really pop. 

>>RELATED: 8 places to soak up fall’s beauty near Dayton

Sycamore State Park and Indian Lake State Park are seeing peak fall color.

>> Warming trend continues, lower temps arrive next week

The third week of October is typically when the Miami Valley sees the best colors emerge, and true color should show into next week.

Heavy rain or wind can take the leaves off the trees quickly this time of year, but weather this weekend is expected to be mild.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

The rest of this week looks sunny and dry with highs in the low to middle 70s. 

Get outside and enjoy the color change. Share your photos with us using the hashtag #Skywitness7!

Why is the sun red, the sky yellow in London? 

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 5:44 PM

The Reason For The Red Sun And Yellow Skies In London

An eerie weather phenomenon across parts of the United Kingdom is turning the skies an anemic yellow color and making the sun appear blood red.

>> Read more trending news

The anomaly is not the beginning of the end of days or a sign of the apocalypse, scientists said. Instead, it’s directly related to Hurricane Ophelia, which is whipping through the region.

The storm’s tropical air dragged in dust from the Sahara Desert and air pollution from wildfires in Spain and Portugal as it moved north through the Atlantic, creating the strange spectacle, the BBC reported.

The sky in France's Brittany region also turned yellow on Monday, Oct. 16,2017 as nearby Hurricane Ophelia brought a mix of sand from the Sahara and particles from Spain and Portugal's forest fires over the region. (David Vincent/AP)

“The dust gets picked up into the air and goes high up into the atmosphere, and that dust has been dragged high up in the atmosphere above the UK,” BBC weatherman Simon King said, according to the Express.

The blood-red sun Monday morning across the region is a result of the same weather phenomenon creating the yellow skies, according to the U.K.’s  Meteorological Office or Met Office.

“The same southerly winds that have brought us the current warmth have also drawn dust from the Sahara to our latitudes and the dust scatters the blue light from the sun letting more red light through much as at sunrise or sunset,” Met officials said on the agency’s website.

>> Related: Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than predicted, study reveals

Social media users in London chronicled the spectacle on Twitter.