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The Orionids are an annual meteor shower which occurs around the same period each year. Associated with Halley’s Comet, this is also one of the most prolific such sky gazing events. This year, the meteor shower will reach its peak on October 20 to October 21, with the rest of the weekend also offering good stargazing or more like meteor-gazing occasions.
The 2017 Orionid Meteor Shower, Better Viewing Chances than Usual
The Orionids are some of the best known and most prolific meteor showers, but that doesn’t mean they are also always at their most visible. This depends on the cloud coverage, light pollution, and in some cases, sky gazing can even be disrupted by the Moon’s phases.
However, the 2017 Orionid meteor shower should offer prime viewing chances as it will peak just a few days after the new moon so that the night sky will be darker than in other years. Nonetheless, sky gazers have to be alert when watching the Orionids, as this is well known for having especially bright and fast meteors, ones that can travel around 41 miles per second.
This meteor shower is produced by Earth’s passing through the particles left behind by Halley’s Comet. Although this whizzes past our planet only every 75 or 76 years, it leaves behind a trail of dust and ice and particles.
Although Halley’s Comet is its “creator”, the Orionids are named after the direction and sky region from which they appear to radiate. This was established as being somewhere near the constellation Orion The Hunter.
According to reports, the 2017 Orionid meteor shower can be best viewed in the morning, especially on October 21 and October 22. Meteors produced by this event started crossing the sky on October 2 and are expected to end on November 07. During its peak periods, the 2017 Orionid is expected to produce some 10 to 15 meteorites per hour.
One of the best things about the Orionids is that they can be viewed from anywhere on the planet and that they can be seen from anywhere across the sky.
Image Source: Wikimedia