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Orionids Meteor Shower Already Starting! When And Where To Look Inside...

We are starting to move toward the peak of another meteor shower. In fact, NASA has been recording more fireballs across the sky over the last few nights! Last night alone, they detected 7 fireballs over the US. This is a result of the Orionid Meteor Shower that will be peaking in the next 10 days. Let me tell you a little more about the meteor shower, where to look, and if this will be a good show this year.


The Orionid Meteor Shower


The Orionid Meteor Shower normally occurs in the last half of October. The Orionids get their name because the meteors appear to come from a radial of the constellation Orion. Orion is really easy to spot with the notorious three stars in a row that appear to make the belt of Orion. NASA shows the three starts of Orion's belt well...


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Image Courtesy Of NASA


The Orionids are actually produced by the well know Halley's comet that lasted passed through our solar system in 1986.


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Image Courtesy Of NASA


Halley's comet was an awesome comet that a lot of us remember! As Halley's comet passed through our solar system, the heat from the sun caused the ice and rock to break free from the comet. These left over pieces of rock are the actual particles that make up the Orionid meteor shower.


When And Where To Look


The Orionids most frequently come from the constellation of Orion, but most experts say you can see them coming from any spot in the sky. In all reality, this is a meteor shower where you can just go outside and look.  


The peak for the Orionids this year is October 20 - October 23, but this meteor shower started on October 2 and will last until November 7th. NASA has been reporting a number of fireball meteors over the last few nights, so the ramp up is indeed occurring. Last night alone, they reported 7 fireballs across the US. With that said, if you are looking for the peak, then you will want to start looking this Sunday through next Wednesday. The best viewing will be in the in the morning hours just before dawn on the peak days.



One Big Problem...


There is one big problem this year and it is the Hunter's Moon that will be in waning gibbous phase by next week.



Hunter's Moon


The amount of moon light could make a lot of the Orionids invisible to the eye, but it is still believed the brightest will shine through! The Orionid can peak at about 25 meteors per hour which would equate to around one ever 2 minutes. If the sky is dark with no moonlight, then this is what you would expect. Since this year we will have bright moon light, then that number could be considerably less.


The fact is the Orionid Meteor Shower will be negatively affected by the bright Hunter's moon. With that said, meteor showers are just so amazing and I think it is always worth the attempt. Just find yourself a very dark place away from city lights, lounge back on a comfortable chair with a blanket, and enjoy! We are already seeing fireballs and maybe you will get lucky!



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