|Orionid meteor captured by a NASA all sky meteor camera. |
Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/MEO
The best time to watch this October meteor shower is one to two hours before sunrise.
Dark night skies are best for watching meteors, so the Moon plays an important role as to which dates are best for meteor shower viewing. The Moon will set before 4 a.m. of every morning from October 20 through October 23. So the darkest predawn mornings closest to the meteor shower’s peak are October 20-23, 2015.
For optimal viewing, find an open sky, lie on the ground, and look straight up into the dark sky. It is important to be far away from artificial lights. Your eyes can take up to 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, so allow plenty of time for your eyes to dark-adapt.
Where to look for the 2015 Orionid Meteor Shower tonight:
|Orion Constellation. Image Credit: NASA|
Find Orion’s noticeable three-star belt in the night sky, then follow his raised arm to his elbow to see the origination point of the Orionids (see image above). Orion will be almost straight above the viewer’s head 1 to 2 hours before sunrise.
The Orionid Meteor Shower is named after the constellation Orion because the meteors appear to come from just north of Orion’s bright star Betelgeuse. It is made up of debris left by Halley’s Comet with a debris field that is so wide that encompasses the entire distance between the Earth and the Moon.