Orionid meteor shower will peak next week

James Marshall
October 19, 2020

However, meteor showers are notoriously hard to predict. Meteor showers occur when the earth passes through a field of debris left behind by a comet or asteroid.

You will be able to spot meteors near Orion - the shower's radiant point that is located near the constellation Orion.

According to space.com, Orionids are named for their radiance near the constellation Orion, which is one of the easiest constellations to spot and is also a derivative of Halley's Comet.

Stargazers can typically see several meteors per hour during the Orionid meteor shower, and between October 20 and October 21, people could see up to 20 each hour, according to CNet. If you miss it, you will have another chance to catch it on Wednesday night after midnight and before dawn. In this period, the Earth crosses the path of the residues of Comet Halley, whose most recent passage on the planet was in 1986.

During a normal peak, you might be able to observe 10-20 streaks.

You don't need any special equipment or skills to view a meteor shower. Comets are sort of like dirty snowballs: As they travel through the solar system, they leave behind a dusty trail of rocks and ice that lingers in space long after they leave.

"If you are in the southern hemisphere, in the northern hemisphere or northeast, lie flat on your back with your feet facing south-east and look up at the sky as much as possible". Most of the debris is very small, about the size of a grain of sand, but the debris burns severely when it enters the Earth's atmosphere. Instead, the burning bits come from the previous passes. In early May, we see parts of this comet as the annual Eta Aquarium meteor shower. It is recommended by Bill Cooke, NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office lead, to check out Betelgeuse, the red star, while viewing the Orionid.

This year, meteors may be harder to see due to the presence of a three-quarter-full moon that will rise shortly before the shower hits its peak.

"Look for long bursts of light when watching the Orionid meteor shower". There also are two meteor showers to look for in December. Stargazers should be warned that moonlight and the weather can obscure the shows.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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