orionids meteor shower

How to watch the Orionid meteor shower at its peak

The Orionid meteor shower is caused by Halley’s comet and occurs every year in October. This year, according to EarthSky, their peak will be between the night of October 20 and the morning of October 21. During its peak, you can expect up to 20 meteors per hour. Unfortunately, the peak will occur when the Moon is about 20 percent full, but this will not completely interfere with viewing.

The origin of the Orionids meteor shower

According to the time and date, the Orionid meteor shower occurs when Earth passes through the debris left behind by Halley’s Comet and the debris burns up as it enters the planet’s atmosphere. This is the second meteor shower caused by a comet, the first being the Eta Aquarids shower in May. Since the comet takes about 76 years to orbit the Sun, it will next be seen in 2061.

The Orionid shower is named after the constellation Orion because that is where the meteors will appear to originate during the shower.

How to view the Orionids meteor shower

The first thing you need to do is find a place away from the light pollution of the city. Once you’ve done that, take any of the many interactive sky map apps on your smartphone and point it at the sky to see the constellation Orion. After that, get comfortable and watch out for the meteors that will appear to be coming from that direction.

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