Orionids meteor shower time: peaks early morning of October 22; to have 10-20 meteors an hour

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Sky watchers may be delighted to find out that another meteor shower will peak from dawn to early morning on October 22 or in the late hours of October 21, following the culmination of the Draconid meteor shower last October 8.

The Orionids meteor shower results from the Halley’s Comet and is active until November 14. It will radiate from the constellation of Orion the Hunter, located at the south-southeast part of the sky this month. In order to find the constellation properly, it is advised to first look for the bright red star named “Betelgeuse” which is part of the formation.

Numerous flashes of up to 10-20 per hour may be seen from midnight to dawn. Although they are moving fast, some meteors may appear to be exceptionally bright and are said to have a persistent trail, with others producing fireballs that can light up the sky especially if you are watching in a very dark and rural area. Some reports also claim that there may even be yellow and green colors to be observed.

When it comes to viewing conditions, the moon reportedly will hide away late in the evening to prepare the backdrop for an expected outstanding show of lights.

General recommendations for first time stargazers are to travel away from the city and find a place as far as possible from artificial lights. Bring comfortable chairs or blankets to lie on and be prepared to lie down somewhere where there are no overhead obstructions. There is also no need to bring special equipment such as telescopes or binoculars as the shower will be seen by the naked eye.

Observational astronomer Elizabeth McGrath told VNews that fascination over astronomical occurrence goes for all generations, “Folks of all ages and backgrounds can get involved, stoking the natural wonder that I think we all have about the nighttime sky. Watching a meteor shower reminds us that we are part of something much larger than ourselves,” she said.