How to watch 2020 Orionid Meteor Shower, now active and near its peak


Haley’s comet in 1986.


The disappearing moon is setting the scene this week as it is near the summit of the Orionid Meteor Shower for some preferable meteors. This Draconid meteor shower And a wonderful show Mars in the night sky Served as the early act of the Orionids, already active and now visible. The little night after the sinking crescent moon provides a mostly dark sky to aid your shooting staring efforts.

Orionids are actually bits of dust and debris, left behind by the famous comet Haley on its previous voyages through the inner solar system. Every year around this time the comet turns our planet through the cloud as a piece of caterpillar rock, slam all the cosmic pebbles and tiny dust into our upper atmosphere and a display burns up as we look at the ground shooting stars and even occasional fireballs.

Orionids is considered a major meteor shower based on the amount of visible meteors that can be seen running towards the inevitable doom during its active period, lasting from about the first week of October to the first week of November.

The show is already active, and the American Meteorological Society predicts that a few hours of meteors may appear in the next few days, reaching peaks on October 20 and October 21, while the number could rise to 20 per hour. . .

Orionids may feature the old phrase “blink and you may miss it,” as they enter our atmosphere at extremely fast speeds of 147,000 miles per hour (66 kilometers per second). That said, a fair amount of these meteors leave a continuous trail that lasts for a few seconds. Some pieces also happen and break up in a more stunning fashion.

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. Bundle if necessary, put back, relax and let your eyes adjust. You don’t need to focus on any part of the sky, but the Orionids are named because their trails originate from the same area of ​​the sky and appear as constellations. Bright star.

The perfect best time to see the Orionids in 2020 is probably the early morning hours on October 21, but this shower is known for the extended peak, so if you get up you should have a good chance to see some meteors. Initially a few days before or after that peak date.

The lunar peak will be arranged hours before the morning view, so this will be another glory this year. Enjoy the show and, as always, please share any great meteor shots you got with me on Twitter Ericsson.