I haven’t generally had much luck writing about meteor showers. By which I mean that the showers I mention (so far!) have typically fizzled… On the flip side of that, I didn’t mention the Draconids at all, because they’re such a “minor” shower, but a couple weeks ago my wife and I saw 6 in the span of as many minutes, including two very bright ones, one maybe even bright enough to be considered a “fireball”.
So, with that disclaimer aside – hey guys, the Orionids peak this weekend! This shower hits its maximum on the 21st, and is caused by the Earth passing through the debris left by none other than Halley’s Comet. It’s a modest shower, but this year, the Orionids are expected to be on an upswing. (Again, I’m writing about them, so….)
Typically, the Orionids produce about 10-20 good meteors an hour. This year, the Moon will be just past full, so unfortunately the sky will be fairly bright – but if it’s clear, and October skies usually are, you should be able to see a few.
Best viewing is early morning, as is the case with most showers. The radiant is (as the name suggests) in Orion, actually right next to Betelgeuse, the red supergiant in Orion’s left (from our perspective) shoulder (seen here with the International Space Station passing by). Anytime after midnight should work, but obviously as Orion gets higher, your chances of seeing more increase. If you’re an early riser, pre-dawn, tack on an extra couple minutes and take a look.
Hopefully I haven’t cursed the Orionids by mentioning them! If you do see any, I’d appreciate you letting me know! Happy watching!
Get Out There