OCT 21, 2016 6:38 AM PDT

Will You Be Watching Tonight's Orionid Meteor Shower?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Every year, at around this time, something spectacular happens for late-night sky-gazers. A meteor shower known as the Orionid Meteor Shower takes place.
 

A shooting star from the famous Orionoid Meteor Shower.

 Image Credit: NASA

Tonight (October 21st, 2016), that meteor shower will occur again, and its visibility is expected to continue through this weekend, so even if you can’t tune in tonight, then perhaps you will see some of the meteor shower Saturday or Sunday instead.
 
The space rocks that make up the Orionid Meteor Shower are reportedly fragments of Comet 1P/Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet, is famous because it’s the only short-period comet that is visible to the naked eye and can appear up to twice in a human lifetime (about once every 75 years).
 
Every year, the intensity of the shower is different, but experts are saying that anyone tuning into the meteor shower this year and expect to see up to 25 ‘shooting stars’ per hour and as little as 12 per hour, but either way it’s sure to put on a good show.
 
"The Orionids will probably show weaker activity than usual this year,” says Bill Cooke of the NASA Meteoroid Environments Office. “Bits of comet dust hitting the atmosphere will probably give us about a dozen meteors per hour."
 
The optimal time to watch the meteor shower is from Midnight to Dawn, with the hours just leading up to Dawn being the best for visibility purposes. You want to make sure there’s a clear sky and that there isn’t a ton of light pollution around you that might interfere with visibility. Unfortunately, the Moon can be a very troublesome source of light pollution at this time of the year.
 
As the name of the meteor shower suggests, you’ll want to be looking towards the direction of the Orion constellation. This is typically the part of the sky where the meteor shower likes to show itself. A red giant star called Betelgeuse is famously present within this constellation.
 
If you’re unable to watch in person because of too much light pollution or unclear skies, NASA will be live-streaming the event for you so you can still watch. Just make sure to tune in at the proper time.

Not sure what to expect? Here's a good demonstration of what the Orionid Meteor Shower has been like in previous years:
 

 

Source: NASA

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 18, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 18, 2019
Say Hello to the Largest Star Ever Discovered
There are so many stars in the modern universe that we couldn’t ever hope to count them all. Many are so distant from us that we can’t even see...
DEC 19, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 19, 2019
The Science Behind Christmas
The holiday season is upon us, and to wrap-up the year and get you into the holiday spirit, we are dedicating the last infographic to Christmas. After all, what's a better way to celebrate...
JAN 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 22, 2020
Astronomers Have Found the Farthest Galaxy Group
An international team of astronomers funded in part by NASA has found the farthest galaxy group identified to date.  The trio of galaxies, called EGS7...
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 09, 2020
Here's Why NASA Needs Another Space Station Orbiting the Moon
NASA already has the International Space Station at its disposal, and with that in mind, many have come to question why the American space agency plans to...
MAR 15, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 15, 2020
ExoMars Rover Launch Delayed Until 2022
2020 was expected to play host to a plethora of Martian missions, including the United States’ Mars 2020 rover, which was recently renamed to the Per...
APR 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 05, 2020
These Incredible Concepts Could Get Astronauts to Mars Sooner
The idea of putting humans on Mars for first-time exploration isn’t too far-fetched. Space agencies and large commercial space agencies alike share t...
Loading Comments...