Meteor Shower 2017: How to See? Where and When?

Meteor Shower 2017: How to See? Where and When?

One of the year’s best sky shows will peak this weekend between Oct. 20 and 22, when the Orionid meteor shower reaches its best viewing. The meteors that streak across the sky are some of the fastest and brightest among meteor showers, because the Earth is hitting a stream of particles almost head on. Click here

Meteor Shower 2017 October 20 -22

The particles come from Comet 1P/Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet. This famous comet swings by Earth every 75 to 76 years, and as the icy comet makes its way around the sun, it leaves behind a trail of comet crumbs. At certain times of the year, Earth’s orbit around the sun crosses paths with the debris.

“You can see pieces of Halley’s Comet during the Eta Aquarids [in May] and the Orionid meteor shower [in October and November],” NASA meteor expert Bill Cooke said.

Orionid Meteor Shower: Leftovers of Halley’s Comet

The Orionids are named after the direction from which they appear to radiate,

which is near the constellation Orion (The Hunter). In October, Orion is best visible around 2 a.m. Cooke told Space.com that the best viewing will be around that time on Oct. 21 and Oct. 22. Skywatchers in 2017 will not have moonlight to contend with, as the first-quarter moon will have set long before the meteors put on their best show. If you miss the peak, the show is also visible between Oct. 15 and 29, as long as the moon isn’t washing the meteors out.

Sometimes the shower peaks at 80 meteors an hour; at others it is closer to 20 or 30. Cooke predicted that in 2017, the peak would be at the smaller end of the scale, echoing the peaks of 2016 and years before.

How to view the show

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Orionid meteors are visible from anywhere on Earth and can be seen anywhere across the sky. If you find the shape of Orion the Hunter, the meteor shower’s radiant (or point of origin) will be near Orion’s sword, slightly north of his left shoulder (the star Betelgeuse). But don’t stare straight at this spot, Cooke said, “because meteors close to the radiant have short trails and are harder to see — so you want to look away from Orion.”

2017 meteor shower picture-photo-image

As is the case with most nighttime skywatching events, light pollution can hinder your view of the Orionid meteor shower. If possible, get far away from city lights (which can hinder the show). Go out around 1:30 a.m. and let your eyes adjust to the dark for about 20 minutes. Bundle up against the cold if necessary. Lie back and use only your eyes to watch the sky. Binoculars and telescopes won’t improve the view, because they are designed to see more stationary objects in the sky.

Courtesy:space.com