Starwatch: how to see the Orionid meteor shower

In the final week of British summer time, meteors from Comet Halley will be streaking across the night sky

Starwatch chart

This week, keep an eye open for the Orionid meteor shower. It may not be the brightest or the most spectacular meteor shower of the year but it derives from the most famous comet of them all: Comet Halley. Meteors are tiny pieces of dust that have been left in space from the tails of comets. They streak across the night sky as they burn up in our atmosphere.

This particular shower appears to originate from a point in the constellation of Orion, hence its name. The Orionids benefit from being observed from the darkest possible site, where between 10 and 20 meteors may be seen an hour. The best time to look is after midnight on the mornings of 20-22 October. The chart shows the view looking east from London at 01:00 BST on 21 October.

The shower is equally visible in the southern hemisphere. And don’t forget that British summer time ends next weekend, so the clocks will go back one hour at 2am on Sunday 25 October.


Contributor

Stuart Clark

The GuardianTramp

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