Here come the Orionid meteors

Camille Francis
October 20, 2017

The meteor shower peaks this Saturday morning, October 21st.

Although the number of Orionids can not rival the three major meteor showers of the year - the Quadrantids, Perseids and Geminids - they are known for consistency in intensity and convenience for observation, as they are both bright and positioned near the zenith, the museum said.

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

The Orionid meteor shower is happening this weekend. In some years, as many as 80 meteors an hour have been visible.

People hoping to spot Uranus should look for a blue-green body, visible to the naked eye when looking to the southeastern sky.

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The offspring of Comet Halley will grace the early morning hours as they return once again as the Orionids. However, every year between October and November Earth's orbit around the sun crosses paths, with debris from the comet creating the Orionids.

The best viewing, of course, will be away from the city and any light pollution. Orion doesn't rise above our eastern horizon until about 11 mid October, so don't expect to see many meteors before midnight.

The eastern US will have the best weather on Friday night for viewing the shower with a large dome of high pressure promoting clear skies across the region, AccuWeather reports.

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

The Orionids are named after the direction from which they appear to radiate, which is near the constellation Orion, explained. You'll want a jacket or sweatshirt early on, but you will not need it for long.

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