How to Watch the Orionid Meteor Shower This Weekend

Orionid Meteor Shower 2017

Look up at the night sky this weekend and you'll find a dazzling sight: The Orionid meteor shower, which will be at peak visibility over the next few days.

The Orionid Meteor shower is caused by dust from the tail of Halley's Comet burning up in the Earth's atmosphere almost 60 miles above our heads. This means there won't be much light pollution away from the city lights.

Anyone can witness the Orionid meteor shower because a telescope isn't needed.

As the Earth crosses the Orionids - the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley's Comet - shooting stars will be visible in the night sky this weekend.

You should be able to see Orionids with the naked eye, but depending on where you are, the sky may be blocked by the Moon, clouds or mist, so if you can get hold of a pair of binoculars that could help you out.

If the skies are clear enough, you could witnesses up to 20 shooting stars an hour.

From a dark site, you might see a maximum of about 10 to 15 meteors per hour, said Bruce McClure of EarthSky.

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I love putting on a coat, lighting up a bonfire and enjoying the night sky with a cup of something hot - cider or otherwise. Skygazers can look for the meteors near the Orion constellation.

NASA says that viewers can expect to see up to 20 meteors an hour during the peak of the shower.

Known as the "Orionid" meteor shower, it takes place between October 20th to October 22nd. However, they will appear to streak across the entire sky. Instead, as NASA notes, "It is actually better to view the Orionids from 45 to 90 degrees away from the radiant".

According to Peter Jedicke, the honorary president of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Orionids are not the most exciting of meteor showers, but the event is still one worth observing.

The constellation Orion setting after dusk over the Vancouver skyline.

There will be clear skies in SC and throughout the eastern US which will provide excellent viewing conditions.

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