How to watch the Orionid Meteor Shower early Saturday morning

Wendy Jensen
October 21, 2017

Are you ready for it?

Stargazers are in for a treat this weekend as the Orionid Meteor Shower reaches its peak this weekend. The good news this year is that both the Moon and weather will be ideal for viewing.

Astronomer Tom Kerss, from the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said weather and light pollution would mean people would most likely see fewer than that - but said it's still worth gazing skyward.

Grab some blankets and hot chocolate and look to the sky Friday and Saturday nights! So get out away from bright lights and let your eyes adjust for a bit to the darkness. "Temperatures will be in the mid-70s around midnight with mostly clear skies", Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann said.

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The best viewing, though, will be when Orion is overhead at 1:30 a.m.

The meteor showers have previously offered more than 80 meteors per hour which have been visible with the naked eye but this year it is expected to be much less. Around this time every year, the Earth's orbit intersects with the path of Halley's Comet.

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.

A fireball is a very bright meteor.

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For the best results, get up early and watch the shower in the darkest hours before dawn - but keep in mind to give your eyes 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.

The Orionid meteor shower is not the most prolific of the annual meteor showers (the more-prolific Perseids are more famous for a reason, and the Leonids have provided some of the most stunning shows in history).

"Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, though if you have to pick a direction, you might fare slightly better looking east".

Is this our best viewing chance?

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Astronomers in the USA can look forward to clear skies in the southwestern and eastern parts of the country.

Other reports by Info About Network

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