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Look up to see the Orionids meteor shower tonight

21 October 2017

The Orionids are best viewed from a rural location away from any light pollution. The 2017 edition reaches its peak on Sunday, October 22.

The moon is barely past its "New" phase.

It does not matter if you don't know how to find the Orion constellation, the sky would be dark enough because of the lack of moonlight due to the new moon and the meteor shower could be seen with the naked eye from a wide-open space.

The best time to view the meteor shower is between midnight and dawn on Friday or Saturday night from anywhere on Earth.

Go outside about 1:30 a.m. Let your eyes adjust to the dark.

"The Orionids are so named as they seem to originate, or radiate, from near the famous constellation Orion".

The Orionid meteor shower will peak over the weekend and it looks like we should have great viewing conditions for it, especially tonight. Most smartphones have a compass built in that you can use to orient yourself to the southeast. In the southern hemisphere Orion stands on his head, so you will have to look down.

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This is the hardest question to answer because there are a lot of variables.

When will the next meteor shower be? Be patient since sometimes meteors come in spurts.

Do I need a telescope? And what's your best chance of seeing it?

Autumn's meteor displays Draconids (Oct 6 - 10) Orionids (Oct 16 - 27) Leonids (Nov 15 - 20) Geminids (Dec 7 - 17) Ursids (Dec 17 - 25).

If you are hoping to catch a glimpse of Halley's Comet itself, you're about 44 years too early; it won't be visible from Earth until the year 2061 as it takes 76 years for it to make a complete revolution.

As the comet moves through space, it leaves debris in its wake that strikes Earth's atmosphere most fully around October 20-22, each year.

Meteoroids are often so small they burn up in the earth's atmosphere, so there is little chance of a collision.

Look up to see the Orionids meteor shower tonight