For the Early risers!
The Orionid meteor shower is an annual night sky event occurring when the Earth passes through the dense field of debris left behind by Halley’s Comet. Named after the constellation Orion, from which the meteors appear to radiate and is known for its fast and bright meteors.
They are active from 2 Oct – 7 Nov with the peak occurring around the 22 Oct. Unfortunately you have to get around 3-4am local time – however the Moon won’t be an issue around the peak time.
If you are in an area with dark skies, you may be able to witness on average of 12-15 meteors per hour during the peak of the Orionids. These meteors can appear in various colours, ranging from white and yellow to green and blue. Some may even leave behind glowing trails, known as trains, that can persist for a few seconds.
However, if you are observing from a town or where there are lots of lights then the number of visible meteors will be reduced to around 6-7 per hour.
The Orionid meteors are known for their speed, travelling at an average velocity of 66 km/per sec.
This rapid motion is a result of the Earth colliding with the comet debris at high speeds. Due to their velocity, the meteors often produce bright and brief streaks across the sky, making them a captivating sight.
It is worth noting that the Orionid meteor shower has shown enhanced activity a few days before and after its peak on the 22nd of October in previous years. So, even if you miss the exact peak, you may still be able to catch a decent number of meteors in the days leading up to or following the peak.
To fully enjoy the Orionid meteor shower, it is recommended to find a comfortable spot, away from bright lights, and allow your eyes to adjust to the darkness. Patience is key, as it may take some time for your eyes to adapt and for the meteors to become more frequent. Grab a blanket, lie back, and enjoy as the Orionid meteors streak across the night sky.