If you stay up late, are patient, and can handle putting your phone away for a while, you just might catch a view of the Orionid meteor shower this weekend.
This year, the shower is happening under ideal viewing conditions. The best time to see the Orionids is from midnight to dawn when the shower peaks between Oct. 20 and Oct. 21, producing an estimated 10-20 meteors per hour.
People living in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres can enjoy this cosmic event.
Find some dark skies for the best show
Take note: these meteors may require some extra focus to spot.
They’re some of the fastest-moving meteors in the night sky pummeling toward Earth at up to 41 miles per second, which may make them difficult to see, per Space.com. Find a dark, dark sky far away from light pollution ..
“Look for prolonged explosions of light when viewing the Orionid meteor shower,” per NASA.
Look up across the night sky
The Orionid meteor shower is named for the constellation the meteors appear to originate. In this case, the Orion constellation — not to be confused with the Orion nebula.
Since this constellation rises in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, people worldwide can watch the meteor shower this weekend, per The Planetary Society.
However, just because the meteors emanate from the constellation Orion doesn’t mean you should focus your gaze on just that area of the sky.
According to Space.com, by focusing your gaze on Orion alone, you may miss the most brilliant meteors.
Meteors near Orion typically have shorter tails, but if you move your eyes around and gaze upon nearby constellations, you might spot more spectacular meteors with longer tails, per Space.com.
In other words, don’t be afraid to take the entire night sky in.
A gift from Halley’s comet
Though the Orionids aren’t regarded as the most dazzling of the annual meteor showers, they’re still an event on many stargazers’ calendars.
This display is caused by a famous cosmic visitor — Halley’s comet. Halley’s comet zips its way into our skies roughly every 75 years.
When the comet passes, it will leave behind rocky and dusty debris. Then, when that debris collides with our atmosphere, it produces two annual meteor showers — the Eta Aquarids, which typically peak in May, and the Orionids, which peak in October this year.
Halley’s comet is due to reenter our view in 2061.
The post How to watch the Orionid meteor shower — without the moon in the sky, you can catch the perfect view appeared first on Business Insider.