The annual Orionid Meteor Shower will put on a spectacular show this week, and astronomers say that 2014 is the best year in recent memory to view the display. The meteor shower will send between 20 and 30 cosmic fireballs per hour hurtling into the atmosphere starting late Monday night.
Most of the meteors during the Orionid shower will not appear very bright, so in places where there is a high degree of artificial light, such as urban areas, the falling cosmic debris can be difficult to notice. For your best chance at witnessing something spectacular, get yourself to a rural area, or somewhere without many streetlights, neon signs or automobile headlights.
If you are unable to reach a darkened area, or you just don’t feel like leaving your house in the middle of the night — the Orionid meteor shower is best viewed between midnight at dawn — you can watch the meteor shower live online right here at The Inquisitr.
Just bookmark this page and return here during the meteor shower’s active hours, and activate the UStream viewer at the bottom this page for a virtual viewing of the 2014 Orionid.
For those who prefer to see the meteor shower live, the moon can prove an impediment to optimal meteor shower viewing, even in rural areas — but that’s what makes 2014 so special.
“There’s no year better for the Orionids than this one,” astronomer Bob Berman told USA Today.
The reason? This year, there will be barely any moon in the sky at all as the Orionid meteor shower unfolds across that skies. Moonrise won’t even come until about 5 am, and then the moon will be just a sliver in the sky, allowing for a clear view of the falling meteors.
The Orionid meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Orion, because the meteors that fall during this shower appear mostly in the area of the sky occupied by that star formation. If you consult the chart at this link, you’ll have a better idea of where Orion will appear in the sky over where you live.
Whenever the constellation is highest in the sky in your local area will mark prime time for viewing the Orionid meteor shower.
The meteors from the Orionid shower are actually chunks of rock and other cosmic debris from Halley’s Comet, which actually produces two meteor showers every year. The first comes in May an is called the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Then there’s this one, Orionid, which happens each October.