The Orionid meteor show is going to reach its peak this weekend, and it promises to put on quite a show for stargazers.
Get ready for a show this weekend, stargazers, as the always popular Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak. The peak will happen between Oct. 20 and 22, during which meteors will streak across the sky as the Earth passes through a stream of particles left over from Halley’s Comet, which swings by Earth every 75 to 76 years.
The comet leaves a trail of debris as it moves across the sun, and every now and then, the Earth’s orbit takes it through this debris field, creating the spectacular show we know of as the Orionid meteor shower. They are called the Orionids because tehy appear to head in the direction of the constellation Orion.
The best viewing time will be on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22 at around 2 a.m. Fortunately, we’re only dealing with a first-quarter moon, so the moon won’t create conditions too bright to see the meteors. And if you miss the peak, you can still get a more limited show on Oct. 29.
“The Orionid meteor shower, usually shortened to the Orionids, is the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet,” according to Wikipedia. “The Orionids are so-called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Orion, but they can be seen over a large area of the sky. Orionids are an annual meteor shower which last approximately one week in late October. In some years, meteors may occur at rates of 50–70 per hour.”