The meteor shower of Orionid is considered the best meteor shower in the fall season and among the best in the whole year. And experts are hoping the 2019 version – which peaks in the next few days – will come out of billing.
This dazzling meteor shower, which occurs when Earth passes through small fragments of space debris from the famous Halley comet, has been active for nearly five weeks, but will be ideally from the late hours of Monday, October 21, to early morning on Tuesday, October 22, according to astronomical experts at AccuWeather and Space.com. [1
The key is that Mother Nature must cooperate with clear skies. AccuWeather forecasts call for heavy cloud cover in many eastern states during the hours when the meteor shower is about to peak. Weather forecast for Orionid areas of the United States.
The Best Time to See the Orionid Meteor Rain However, your chances of seeing one or more shooting stars will get better late Monday night at dusk on Tuesday.
Then most meteors will be in the sky. Normally, the Orionids produce from 20 to 25 meteors per hour, but this number decreases when the moon shines brightly or when clouds are obstructed.
The October moon – known as the moon hunter when it reaches its maximum size – turned full on October 13, so it will be about half full early this week. For star glances, this is better than the bright light of a full moon.
It is worth noting: For some years the Orionid meteor shower has been known to perform better than expected. Among them was the period from 2006 to 2009, when the rain was producing 50 to 75 meteors per hour at its peak, AccuWeather noted.
How to See the Orionid Meteorological Rain
Just like any meteor shower, experts say your chances are better to see as many shooting stars than the Orionids if you can find a dark place as much as possible away from the bright city lights. Try going to a park or open field with a good view of the sky.
You will not need special equipment such as telescopes or binoculars. Experts say you just need your own set of eyes, but you should give them about 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness before looking for meteors shooting through the night sky.
Why are they called Orionids
The Orionids derive their name from the constellation Orion from which they originate. Although these meteors will shoot from this area of the sky, experts say that if you look up to any part of the sky, you should be able to see shooting stars from almost any direction.
Len Melisurgo can be reached at  LMelisurgo@njadvancemedia.com . Follow him on Twitter @LensReality or like him on Facebook . Find NJ.com on Facebook .