Look out for the Orionid meteor shower

Date:15 October 2019 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

The end of this month brings the peak viewing opportunity for those who love looking to the sky. The Orionid meteor shower will be most visible from Earth between the 22 and 23 October.

These meteors are little leftover ‘crumbs’ from Halley’s comet. They are fast bits of rock that sometimes peak at 80 meteors an hour while others are just 20 or 30, according to Space.com.

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For the last 8 weeks, I have been on one crazy adventure after another. Five days ago I flew from the UK to Washington DC, and embarked on a road trip of epic proportions with my favourite co-creator @mrhollender In partnership with @Acura, our mission was to photograph the #OrionidMeteorShower in some of the darkest skies in the continental US. This turned out to be an ASTROnomical challenge, as the lunar cycle was approaching full moon, and ever changing weather chased us from Washington DC, to rural Virginia. On the first night of our adventure, Mike turned to me and said “I’ll drive, you keep looking up.” This statement pretty much summed up the whole trip: One person drove the beautiful @Acura #RDX and the other watched the skies through the phenomenal pano moon roof, watching for a clearing in the clouds large enough for the stars to shine through. I think that when Acura designed this SUV, they had me in mind. It’s designed for people who challenge the notion of conventional. For people who are fiercely independent. And for people who #lookup both in life and in their environment.

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This event happens once a year around the month of October, with the best viewing nights shifting slightly.

The first report of an Orionid sighting was in 1839 in the United States, this despite the fact that their mother comet, Halley, has been noted in the sky from as early as 240 B.C.

Viewing the meteors in South Africa

This meteor shower is visible from anywhere on Earth, so those wanting to see the spectacular celestial show can pack up their blankets and make their way to an area with minimal light pollution for the best viewing.

There is some risk that the moon will also be too bright this year. Space.com recommends going out early in the morning (around 1:30am) when the moon is not at it’s peak. It is meant to last till sunrise so there will be no shortage of opportunity to view this incredible sight.

The Orionids are named after the direction from which they appear to come from, which is near the constellation Orion (The Hunter). Those looking out for this spectacular show need to look for the shape of Orion in the sky.

The meteors look like they originate from near his sword. It is not advised to look directly at this point as the meteors trails grow longer the faster they move away from this ‘origin.’

Image: Flickr

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