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Orionid Meteor Shower Peaking Now

The Orionid meteor shower will peak between 21 and 22 October in the northern hemisphere, and could yield up to 20 quickly streaking meteors per hour. So, why not dress up warmly, head outside and look up.

Orionid meteor shower

They are best viewed in the night sky after midnight, and can appear to originate from their radiant, the constellation Orion.

But Orionid meteors can actually be seen anywhere in the sky, and Nasa recommends looking for Orionid meteors at 45 to 90 degrees from the Constellation Orion.

“They will appear longer and more spectacular from this perspective,” a Nasa blog reads. “If you do look directly at the radiant, you will find that the meteors will be short. This is an effect of perspective called foreshortening.”

The fast moving Orionids are typically bright, says Nasa, often leaving long, persistent trails in the sky as they enter the atmosphere at a searing 148,000 miles per hour.

The Orionid meteors are debris from the trail of Halley’s Comet, and they are not the only ones - the Eta Aquarid meteor shower each May results from Earth passing through another portion of comet Halley’s trail. Traveling a much longer orbit than 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, Halley will not pass near Earth again until 2061.



Space Rocks: Whats What - Meteor, asteroid, comet, fireball: what’s the difference? Know your meteorite from your meteoroid with OGN's simple handy guide...

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