spaceSpace and Physics

Look Up! The Orionid Meteor Shower Will Reach Its Peak On October 21


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

Weeeeee! fabiodevilla/Shutterstock

Are you a fan of things falling from space into our atmosphere? Of course you are. So, if you’re lucky, and you look skywards between now and November 7, you’ll be able to see a cascade of the remnants of Halley’s Comet. This particular ball of frozen matter gives rise to several meteor showers, but this particular one – the Orionids – is the most prolific.

At its peak – on October 21 – you may be able to clock anywhere between 10-25 shooting stars per hour, each moving at speeds of around 67 kilometers (42 miles) per second. The best time to observe them will be just before dawn on that particular day, when there’ll be no moonlight to pollute the show.


The Orionids, as the name suggests, appear (or “radiate”) from the constellation of Orion, near the tip of the part that forms the club. It’s easy to find: it’ll be near Betelgeuse, an orange-red supergiant, the second-brightest in the constellation and one of the largest and most luminous stars visible to the naked eye.

You don’t actually need to find the constellation to see the meteors though. They will rain down on Earth at all kinds of angles by the time they reach us, so you’ll just need to look up, essentially. Just go to an open field with little light pollution, and enjoy the show.

[H/T: EarthSky]


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