Home News Orionid Meteor Shower to Light Up the Night Sky This Month

Orionid Meteor Shower to Light Up the Night Sky This Month


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The fall meteor shower, Orionid is happening this month starting October 2nd and going through the first couple of days in November. Orionids are the debris left behind from Halley’s Comet as Earth passes through the stream of material.

The Orionids get their name from the direction from which they appear to radiate, which is the constellation Orion, The Hunter.

This event will be visible over a significant portion of the sky and under favorable viewing conditions. Peak viewing will be expected around 2 a.m. on October 22nd, but you will have a good chance of seeing them throughout the month, especially October 15th through 29th in the early morning a little before dawn, as long as the moon isn’t washing the meteors out.

At the expected peak, we may be able to see up to 25 Orionids per hour while the sky is dark. The meteors move at 41 miles per second and leave a trail of gas for a few seconds that produce the familiar streak of light.  The meteors closes to Orion, which is in the eastern part of the sky, will have smaller trails of gas with less visibility.  You will have a better chance of seeing them if you were to view with your back to the eastern sky.

Don Stevens, the director of Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware wrote in his OWU astronomy preview, “On Oct. 3, the young crescent Moon pays Jupiter a visit. Two nights later, on the 5th, the Moon will be next to Saturn. Venus begins to make an appearance in the evening sky this month,”

Stevens added that Mars will come out of the sun’s glare in the morning sky due East