As meteorologists, we typically focus on what is happening in the troposphere. That's the lowest layer of the atmosphere and it's essentially where life exists and where weather happens. Sometimes you just have to look a little farther north though. Let's talk about some upcoming events happening WAY above our heads.
We'll start with the Orionid meteor shower, which peaks this evening.
The good news: the moon is just a sliver, crescent shape so its brightness shouldn't obscure the view of the meteors.
The bad news: We've got clouds and some scattered showers in the forecast so you may not be able to see the show from your favorite local star-gazing perch.
You CAN, however, watch online! (Thanks to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.) Visit the following link to check out the show tonight:http://www.space.com/19195-night-sky-planets-asteroids-webcasts.html
What else is happening in space? Those who live in the United States and Canada are going to get treated to a partial solar eclipse on Thursday. It's a partial solar eclipse because the moon is passing partially, not completely, in front of the sun. At "maximum eclipse" the Sun will appear as a thick crescent because the dark disk of the moon will be moving partially over it.
In Richmond the eclipse will begin at 5:55 PM. Maximum eclipse will take place at 6:21 PM.
So, how can you best check out the show? You could go to an observatory, planetarium, or try out a local astonomy group. Eclipse glasses fitted with mylar or polymer lenses are also great options.
Do you have a pair of binoculars? You can use them to project the Sun onto a piece of white paper. Just DO NOT look through them!
However you choose to see the partial solar eclipse, remember that you should NEVER look directly into the sun.