The annual Orionid meteor shower peaks overnight Monday, Oct. 21 when bits of Halley’s Comet will stream from a point above the figure of Orion the Hunter called the radiant. The map depicts the view around 5 a.m. local time. Stellarium
I’m embarrassed to admit this but I used to ignore the Orionids because I considered it a minor shower. But that changed several years back when I finally gave the shower its due. While no August Perseids, the Orionids were a delight. The flashed by so quickly I could hardly believe my eyes.
At peak, which will happen Monday night through Tuesday dawn (Oct. 21-22), you’d expect to see 15-20 meteors per hour under a dark, moonless sky. The real number will be a little lower because a somewhat-less-than-half-moon will shine off to the east in Cancer the Crab. Have a need for speed? What really sets the Orionids apart is their swiftness. These piercing javelins of light shoot across the sky at around 150,000 miles per hour or 67 km / sec, second only to the November’s Leonid meteor shower.
Orionids hail from Halley’s Comet. When Earth encounters the inbound leg of the comet’s orbit, we plow through ...