How And When To Watch Orionid Meteor Shower 2017 This Weekend

The shower is named after the constellation Orion since the meteors appear to radiate from Orion's sword in the east-southeast sky.

Dozens of shooting stars are expected to streak across the sky as Earth passes through debris of Halley's Comet.

If you're in an area with more light pollution, a pair of binoculars will help.

The Orionids have been visible since October 2 but the shower is set to light up the sky this weekend.

The meteors have actually been visible in the night sky from around October 16, but they peak in intensity this weekend on the evening of October 21. This meteor shower is famous because it derives from material trailing behind the best-known comet, Comet 1P/Halley.

You'll also need to be alert, with the shooting stars zipping across the sky at an incredible 148,000 miles an hour.

The best time to watch is just before dawn on Saturday, though if you watch between midnight and dawn on either Saturday or Sunday, you should get a good show.

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Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: 'The Orionids is a modest shower, producing around 20 meteors per hour at best under absolutely flawless conditions.

"If you can get away from city lights tonight, our weather should cooperate for watching these meteors".

Cooke told Space.com that, depending on the year, there can be a peak of anywhere between 20 to 80 meteors in a single hour.

The more of the sky you can see, the better.

No. Viewing will be best with the naked eye. The meteors themselves don't really show up until they have moved roughly 30 degrees from the radiant point.

The meteor shower has been active since October 2nd and will remain so until November 7th.

Another bonus: Skywatchers across the highly populated eastern US should have clear skies for viewing the Orionids, according to AccuWeather meteorologist and astronomy blogger Dave Samuhel.

  • Stacy Houston