Basic Astronomy

Orionid meteor shower 2012

19 October 2012: This year, annual event of orionid meteor shower can be seen on 20-21st October 2012.

Orion constellation map

Earth will pass through a stream of debris which is left behind by Halley's Comet. A meteor shower will be seen when some of the tiny particles in this debris will enter the earth atmosphere and will burn due to friction with atmosphere.

This spectacular meteor shower will peak on 20-21st October and one can see about 25 meteors per hour.

How can you see the show?

The meteors of the Orionid shower appear to fall from above the star Betelgeuse, the bright orange star marking the shoulder of the constellation Orion. If you live in the northern hemisphere, you should look towards the south-east and if you are in the southern hemisphere you should look towards the north-east during the best viewing times, i.e. when the sky is darkest in your area. The best viewing times are usually about midnight to 2 am. The quarter Moon will have set about midnight, so it won't be a problem to watch meteors.

As always, if you can go far from the city, you will see better view of sky due to less light pollution. You may like to lie on a blanket in a park or rooftop to enjoy the show. It will also help you to have access of full view of the sky.

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