October 20, 2017
Make A Wish! Shooting Stars Visible This Weekend As Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks; Here's How To See Them

Stargazers should get ready for an exciting weekend as they can witness dozens of shooting stars lighting up the night sky. The peak of the Orionid meteor shower will allow everyone to clearly see the amazing meteors that will show up every hour.

Since Oct. 2, the Orionids have been visible across the sky but it was there as individual meteors. This weekend, it will peak to a meteor shower so people can enjoy multiple sightings of the blazing falling stars in the early hours of Saturday, Oct. 21.

Science writer and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory podcaster, Jane Houston Jones, wrote on "What's Up" update for this month,

"The Orionids peak on October 20 - a dark, moonless night. Look near Orion's club in the hours before dawn and you may see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour."
Although the shower might not be the strongest in the astronomical calendar, it is still a big treat to star watchers since they can see not just two or three but dozens of meteors per hour.

Best Time To See The Shooting Stars

According to Tom Kerss, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, star watchers can see the meteors best on Oct. 21, between midnight and 3 a.m. (dawn of Sunday) because that is when the sky will be in its darkest state and the shooting stars will be at its brightest. He added that the given time is part of the expected peak hours, the point from which the meteors appear to spread out.

How to Watch the Orionid Meteor Shower

Kerrs' advise to anyone who would like to get a good glimpse of the meteor shower is to find a secluded place like the rural area where there is less pollution. Apparently, the smog can hamper visibility.

As for the exact direction of where to look, looking east would give a better view. In addition, give time for the eyes to adjust well to the darkness and binoculars will not be needed anymore.

"There's no advantage to using binoculars or a telescope, your eyes are the best tool available for spotting meteors, so relax and gaze up at the sky, and eventually your patience will be rewarded," Evening Times quoted Kerrs as saying.

Watch the Meteor Shower Online

For people who cannot go out of their home for some reasons, they can still see the Orionid meteor shower by watching the live streaming online.

Slooh is scheduled to live stream the entire meteor shower starting Oct. 20. The show will begin its broadcast on Friday at 7:59 p.m. EDT, and it will be hosted by three astronomy experts - Paul Cox, Bob Berman, and Dr. Paige Godfrey. The show is free but one needs to register to gain access to the stream.

Finally, the Orionid meteor shower is an annual event and usually takes place in October when debris from Halley's comet comes into contact with the Earth's atmosphere.

[Featured Image by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]