Orionids meteor shower set to peak over the weekend

Posted October 21, 2017

Well grab your blanket and get ready to enjoy celestial spectacles with these simple tips. So just get up really early right before dawn and head to an open space which does not get light pollution from cities and start keeping a watch on the night sky to catch a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower. This annual October event is always spectacular, as long as the Moon and weather cooperate.

The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest and brightest among meteor showers because the Earth is hitting the stream of particles nearly head-on, according to Space.com. It will be a little chilly outside each night with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s, so be sure to bundle up. Go outside! Look at space! Next, allow your eyes about 10 to 15 minutes to adjust to the darkness, and then look up. The meteors, also known as shooting stars, are named Orionids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Orion, named after a hunter of Greek lore. Budding astronomers and stargazers will want to mark their calendars for the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, which is coming up this weekend. Most smartphones have a compass built in that you can use to orient yourself to the southeast.

But experts advise to look away from Orion. Halley's Comet is one of the most elusive as well as popular comets of all times.

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

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The meteor shower has been active since October 2nd and will remain so until November 7th.

This shower is expected to be less than that, with Otago Museum Director Ian Griffin telling NZME that Otago based spectators may be able to see between 20 and 30 meteors per hour. Be patient since sometimes meteors come in spurts. Telescopes and binoculars are best for viewing stationary objects.

The average rate is 20 to 25 per hour around the shower's peak, which is Saturday.