The annual meteor shower will be visible to the naked eye clearer than ever thanks to favorable climate conditions.
The annual Orionid meteor shower that typically happens every year in October is almost here and you won't need binoculars or telescope to view the spectacle.
The meteor show will be at its peak on October 21, Monday night and continue into the early hours of Tuesday, October 22. Stargazers will get a great view of the event given the favorable weather conditions in the month of October, according to a report by People.
The mild temperatures of October coupled with no monsoon storms will work in stargazers' favor. Meteor showers are also called "shooting stars" or "falling stars."
When the Earth encounters the orbit of the famous Halley's Comet, dust from the comet falls toward Earth and burns up in the atmosphere as meteors and becomes the annual Orionid meteor shower. The meteor showers' name, Orionid, is inspired by the constellation Orion with the shooting stars appearing to radiate from the constellation.
The Orionid is a “medium strength shower that sometimes reaches high strength activity,” notes the American Meteor Society (AMS). The best viewing time to spot the meteor shower will be from 10 pm to midnight prior to the rise of the moon, says AZ Central. With the moon at 45% full, the light of the moon will make the sky brighter and thus making it harder to spot the meteor shower.
Astronomers say that other minor meteor showers at the same time will increase the chances of stargazers spotting the event. "You basically can't get better weather" for meteor watching, said Arizona State University Professor Patrick Young with the School of Earth and Space Exploration.
The Orionid meteor shower offers the best opportunity for stargazers to witness "shooting stars" given that it produces longers trails in the sky and can be visible for up to four seconds, sometimes even longer, said Adam Block, who works at Steward Observatory in the University of Arizona's Department of Astronomy. The International Meteor Organization said it expects 10 to 20 meteors an hour.
While there is no particular area of the sky that stargazers need to focus on, stargazing from a rural area could give a clearer view. The Orionid meteor shower will be visible all over the world but the view of those living in urban areas will be obscured by pollution to a certain extent. To get a clear view you need a dark sky, that isn't obscured by pollution. You can find the best location near you by visiting Dark Site Finder.
The Orionid is a “medium strength shower that sometimes reaches high strength activity,” according to the American Meteor Society (AMS). In a typical year, the meteor shower produces about 10-20 meteors per hour, and in some years, you can see about 50-75. In recent times, however, the Orionid meteor showers have recorded “low to average displays.”
Halley’s Comet that was last seen in 1980s is visible only once in 75 years and will be visible again only in 2061.