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How to see Orionid meteor shower in 2020, active now and soon high point


Halley’s comet in 1986.


That Draconid meteor shower and a fantastic show from March in the night sky served as the opening act for Orionid meteor shower, which is already active and visible now.

The Orionids are considered a major meteor shower based on the amount of visible meteors that can be seen fighting inevitable destruction during its active period, which runs roughly from the first week of October to the first week of November.

The show is already active, and the American Meteor Society predicts that a handful of meteors per hour may be visible over the next few days, leading up to the peak on October 20 and October 21

, where the number could rise to 20 per hour. .

The Orionids are really just dust and dirt left behind by the famous comet Halley on its previous journeys through the inner solar system. As our planet drifts around the comet detritus every year around this time, all the cosmic gravel and dirt melts into our upper atmosphere and burns up in a display we see on Earth as shooting stars and even the occasional fireball.

The Orionids can embody the old phrase “blink and you can miss it” when they enter our atmosphere at an extremely fast speed of about 147,000 miles per hour (66 kilometers per second). That said, quite a few of these meteors leave lasting traces that last for a few seconds. Some even fragment and break up in a more spectacular way.

To capture the show, the advice is the same as for all celestial spectator events: Find a place away from light pollution with a wide open view of the night sky. Gather if necessary, lie back, relax and let your eyes adjust. You do not have to focus on any part of the sky, but the Orionids are so named because their paths appear to originate from the same general area of ​​the sky as the constellation Orion and bright star Betelgeuse.

The absolute best time to look for Orionids in 2020 is probably in the early morning hours before dawn on October 21st, but this shower is known for an extended peak, so you should have a good chance of seeing some meteors if you get up early a few days before or after this peak date as well.

The moon will set before noon in the morning, so that’s another advantage this year. Enjoy the show and share, as always, amazing meteor shots that you might take with me on Twitter @EricCMack, as always.

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