The second of two meteor showers in October, the Orionid meteor shower peaks in the early morning of October 21. Slooh will present a live broadcast of this active and reliable meteor shower in conjunction with our multiple partner sites around the world through the night of October 20.
Like all meteor showers, the Orionids occur as the Earth passes through the debris-strewn path of a comet, in this case, the famous Halley’s Comet. The meteors are simply tiny bits of ice and dust that fell away from the comet and plowed into our atmosphere. Because of the geometry of the Earth’ orbit relative to the debris stream, the Orionids appear to originate from a point near the upraised ‘club’ of the constellation Orion just north of the bright red-orange star Betelgeuse.
The Orionid meteors will be visible to observers in both the northern and southern hemispheres. If a meteor traces its path back in the direction of Orion, that means it’s likely an Orionid. More meteors are typically visible after midnight as the Earth turns into the debris field of Comet Halley.