The Orionids will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere from October 16 to 24, so it's almost time to gaze skyward.
Even without a telescope or binoculars, you'll be able to view the shooting stars. However, if you want to view them at their finest, get up early: between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. According to Farmer's Almanac, you should be able to view anything from 10 to over 30 meteors each hour during Daylight Savings Time.
What will you be looking for?
What exactly are you looking up at in the night sky? That'd be cosmic dust trails from Halley's Comet slamming into Earth's atmosphere at rates of almost 40 miles per second.
"Earth meets the densest section of Halley's debris stream in the hours before dawn," NASA adds.
The meteor shower will radiate from the Orion constellation in the southwest sky, peaking on the 21st.
Full Hunter's Moon
A Full Hunter's Moon will be visible around the height of the Orionids, lighting the night a little too much for eager meteor viewers.
Nonetheless, if you live near a Dark Sky Preserve or simply have a favorite dark spot in the city, gather your blankets and flasks of hot tea, and enjoy one of the year's astronomy highlights.
Every year, between October 2 and November 7, Orionid meteors appear. That's when Earth passes through the debris stream left behind by Comet Halley, the Orionid shower's parent comet. The Orionids generally produce the most meteors in the hours leading up to dawn. In 2021, the peak morning is predicted to occur on October 21. But there's bad news for Orionid enthusiasts this year. The full Hunter's Moon in 2021 will occur on October 19-20. During the height of the Orionids, moonlight will fill the sky all night or practically all night.
The word meteor shower may conjure up images of rain showers. However, few meteor showers mimic rain showers. The Orionids aren't the most powerful shower of the year, and they're not known for storming (producing unexpected, vibrant displays).
In a year, when the moon is out of the way, you may view 10 to 20 Orionids every hour from a dark place. Do you think you'll see that many in 2021? It's unlikely. When it comes to meteor showers, there's always the element of surprise and unpredictability. However, no one anticipates many Orionids overcoming the moon's glare during the 2021 shower.
If you witness any Orionid meteors in 2021, keep in mind that they're known to be swift meteors, falling into the Earth's atmosphere at speeds of up to 41 miles (66 kilometers) per second. As a result, this shower has a small number of meteors.
However, they compensate for their obscurity by leaving trains, or ionized gas trails, that linger for a few seconds after the meteor has passed. Approximately half of all Orionid meteors leave long-lasting trains.
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