Orionid meteor shower peaks Wednesday

Oct 19, 2009
meteor shower
Meteor shower. Credit: V. Winter (ICSTARS)

(PhysOrg.com) -- The annual Orionid meteor shower will peak in the hours before dawn on Oct. 21, according to the editors of StarDate magazine, who said the shower could produce up to 20 meteors per hour.

The view should be especially good this year, as the crescent Moon will remain below the horizon, with no chance to overpower the light from meteors streaking across the sky.

High-resolution images and high-definition video are available online at StarDate's Media Center. There, you can also sign up to receive advanced e-mail notices of future skywatching events.

Orionid meteors appear to fall from above the star Betelgeuse, the bright orange star marking the shoulder of the . They are not associated with this star or constellation, but are leftover debris from Halley's . The Orionid meteors recur each year when Earth passes through the comet's debris trail.

Orionid meteors stream from the elbow of Orion the Hunter. Because the shower's radiant point is close to the celestial equator, sky watchers in both hemispheres can enjoy the show.

For your best view, get away from city lights. Look for state or city parks or other safe, dark sites. Lie on a blanket or reclining chair to get a full-sky view. If you can see all of the in the Little Dipper, you have good dark-adapted vision.

Provided by University of Texas at Austin (news : web)

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