THE ORIONID meteor shower promises to dazzle stargazers with a spectacular display of shooting stars TONIGHT. But what is the best time too watch the meteor shower?
When its the Orionids meteor shower?
If you can’t view it, either it being cloudy or heavey lit area, Slooh will be Live streaming the event from tonight. Join Paul Cox, Dr. Paige Godfrey, and Bob Berman for a decidedly casual and far-ranging chat as as we train our telescopes on the Orionids. SLOOH Live Event of the Orionid Meteor Shower
The Orionids light up the night sky every year towards the end of October in “one of the most beautiful showers of the year”, according to Nasa.
The meteor shower will peak in the early of hours of Saturday (October 20) and once again in the early hours of Sunday (October 22). Sporadic meteors have already been dashing across the night sky from October 15 and should remain visible until November.
During the peak, stargazers can expect anywhere up to 50 meteors per hour, though this year Nasa believes that the numbers may not be as spectacular.
Nasa’s Jane Houston Jones said: “The Orionids peak on October 20, a dark, moonless night. Look near Orion’s club in the hours before dawn and you may see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour. “Use binoculars to look for bright asteroid 7 Iris in the constellation Aries. Newbies to astronomy should be able to spot this magnitude 6.9 asteroids even from the city.”
What is the best time to view the Orionids meteor shower?
The peak of the Orionids will be visible anywhere on Earth in the early morning hours of tonight and tomorrow night, usually after midnight and just before dawn.
The best time for skywatchers to head outside is usually around 2am when the shower is at its most intense.
But Storm Brian will make the sky overcast tonight much of the UK as the weather bomb unleashes strong winds and rainstorms.
A Met Office spokesman said: “There’s quite a lot of cloud around this evening and overnight. The best chance of seeing them will be in the early hours before dawn.” He said that the clearest skies will be from 3am in the eastern part of England across East Anglia, the South East, Lincolnshire and the Midlands.”
To get the best views, stay away from any sources of light pollution and give your eyes some time to adjust to the dark of space.
Where will the Orionid meteor shower appear?
The Orionids derive their name from there point of origin next to the Orion constellation, which ascends in the east.
But the shower’s radiant point is mostly irrelevant because the meteors will shoot out in all sorts of directions, and usually remain unseen until about 30 degrees from the radiant.
However, if you spot a streaking meteor, you should be able to trace its path back to its origin next to Orion’s club.
What are the Orionids?
The spectacular shooting stars are remnants of the prolific Halley’s Comet, which visits Earth every 74 to 79 years.
When the comet passes through the solar system, chunks (Debris) of ice and rock break off from the comet thanks to the sun, and trail in the comet’s path. The first recorded reports of the shower date back to 1839, when it was spotted in America.
The Orionids are incredibly fast meteors and crash into Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 66 km/s. Many of the falling stars leave ionised trails of glowing gas in their path.