Orionid meteor shower coming this month


The Orionid meteor shower is happening this month from Oct. 2 into the first couple of days of November. The Orionids are linked to debris left over from Halley’s Comet, as Earth passes through the stream of material.

The fall meteor shower originates in the constellation Orion, though the event will be visible over a significant portion of the sky under favorable viewing conditions.

Peak viewing is expected to be centered around the morning of Oct. 22, but if you are out in the early morning a little before dawn, keep an eye on the sky for a few meteors throughout the month.

At best, we might see a dozen or so Orionids per hour at peak later this month, ideally when the sky is dark (moon not a factor). The meteors move at a pretty good clip — 41 miles per second — and leave a trail of gas for a few seconds that produces the familiar streak of light.

Don Stevens, the director of Perkins Observatory at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, said there will be some interesting conjunctions to see in the nighttime sky.

“On Oct. 3, the young crescent Moon pays Jupiter a visit. Two nights later, on the 5th, the Moon will be next to Saturn. Venus begins to make an appearance in the evening sky this month,” Stevens wrote in his OWU astronomy preview.

He added that in the morning sky, Mars will come out of the sun’s glare in the east.

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