Orionid meteor shower: Lack of moonlight makes for excellent viewing conditions

Posted October 21, 2017

To see the shower, get as far away from city lights as possible.

Check the lunar calendar before the event, as if the moon is too bright during its full or gibbous phase, it may obscure the view. Scientists believe that when the Earth drifts through the debris, it lights up the sky as meteors, specifically the meteors that will illuminate the Orion constellation beginning tonight (October 20) and over the next few days. Go outside! Look at space! Let your eyes adjust to the darkness, which takes about 20 minutes, and then wait for the show to begin.

Meteor showers are named after the constellation where they appear to originate.

"Orionid meteors are known for their speed and brilliance, so if you persevere there's a good chance you'll see several bright "shooting stars" zipping across the sky", he added. Most smartphones have a compass built in that you can use to orient yourself to the southeast. Keep your eyes around that area of sky, but don't look directly at Betelgeuse.

"The Orionids are popular among stargazers because all of its individual shooting stars are fragments of the most famous comet of all time, Halley's Comet", Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said.

The best time to see the meteors will be around 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, so either plan that nap or settle in for a late night.

This is the hardest question to answer because there are a lot of variables.

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The Orionids peak on October 20 which will be a dark, moonless night, according to NASA. Many meteors will appear to come from the Orion constellation.

Is there a better direction to look? . Ultimately, the view from a higher vantage point, such as a hill or mountain, is best. Telescopes and binoculars are best for viewing stationary objects.

The most meteors will fall between October 20-22.

Though the meteors will emanate from the eastern horizon, they will streak across the entire sky and will be visible from anywhere on Earth, according to NASA.

The meteors are particles from Halley's Comet, which only comes near Earth every 75 to 76 years.

Meteoroids are often so small they burn up in the earth's atmosphere, so there is little chance of a collision.