About the Orionid Meteor Shower
The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion, as the meteors appear to be falling from between the constellations Orion and Gemini. The debris which makes up the Orionid shower is from Halley’s Comet, probably the most well known comet. In the northern hemisphere, approximately 20-25 meteors will fall each hour.
This year, the Orionid Meteor Shower will begin around October 15th and will continue through October 29th. The peak is October 21st to the 22nd. This shower is a well known annual meteor shower.
Viewing the Orionid Meteor Shower
In 2010, the peak of the Orionid Meteor Shower falls on a full moon night. That’s the evening of October 21st through the morning of October 22nd. Having a full moon will make it more difficult to see meteors. If you are able to view the shower from a dark area, you will see more meteors.
The evening of October 21st, you should set up while facing east/southeast. Around midnight, the shower show will really begin, and you should look directly up. You will not need a telescope to view the shower, though without one you will see only the brightest meteors. With a telescope you will greatly increase the number of meteors you can see.
For a checklist of items to bring while viewing the Orionids and how to stay safe while having fun, check out How to View Meteor Showers. The next meteor shower following the Orionids will be the Leonid meteor shower in November.