Published: Sat, October 21, 2017
Life&Culture | By Kristin Armstrong

Look up to see the Orionids meteor shower tonight

Look up to see the Orionids meteor shower tonight

It's advisable to take a trip out of your city to find somewhere more remote as this will prevent the experience from being ruined by artificial lights.

The Orionid meteor shower will light up the night sky tonight, October 20, and tomorrow night as Earth travels through an area of space littered with debris from Halley's Comet, according to NASA.

"The Orionids are popular among stargazers because all of its individual shooting stars are fragments of the most famous comet of all time, Halley's Comet", Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said.

Look with just your eyes; binoculars and telescopes limit your view.

The streaks of light you can see are actually caused by tiny bits of dust and rock called meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up.

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October may be best known for pumpkins, fall weather and haunted houses, but the month is also prime time for meteor showers.

Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: 'The Orionids is a modest shower, producing around 20 meteors per hour at best under absolutely flawless conditions. This makes the meteors appear especially fast and bright. Melissa Hulbert said, "This year it's predicted to be at the lower end of the scale, around 20-30 meteors per hour".

Website Globe At Night helps find Orion in the sky based on location. The meteor shower radiates from that belt, but says not to look there because the meteor trails are shorter. It should be visible from anywhere on Earth, but a better shower will be seen in rural areas where there is less light pollution.

Katherine Hunt, Planetarium Manager at Ingram Planetarium said the best chance to catch a glimpse of the shower is to look to the east early Saturday morning, before dawn. Get comfortable, face southeast and scan the entire sky.

You'll be able to spot them clearly in the eastern sky just above the horizon.

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