Metro Vancouverites were privy to the Draconid Meteor Shower earlier this month, but they will see an even more dazzling display this week.
Not only is it extremely bright, but October’s Orionid meteor shower also produces extremely fast-moving meteors. In fact, its shooting stars move at speeds close to 238,000 kilometres per hour!
What’s more, these speeds make it the second fastest shower of the year, second only to the Leonid Meteor Shower by “just six kilometers an hour slower,” reports Space.
Orionid meteor shower
“The particles come from Comet 1P/Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet. This famous comet swings by Earth every 75 to 76 years, and as the icy comet makes its way around the sun, it leaves behind a trail of comet crumbs. At certain times of the year, Earth’s orbit around the sun crosses paths with the debris,” explains Space.
Raining from Halley’s comet, the peak of the shower takes place on October 21st in North America. While that is on Sunday, the shower takes place in the days leading up to it and afterwards, too. With that being said, more meteors are produced at its peak, when 15 – 20 of the dazzling stars will appear per hour in the sky.
Sadly, the new moon is predicted to cause some astral interference for stargazers, but “meteor experts predict that Orionid activity is on an upswing after some poor showings a few years ago,” according to Sky and Telescope.
Stargazers should opt to travel as far away from city lights as possible in order to avoid light pollution that will obscure the clarity of heavenly bodies. While this works best the in more remote places, anywhere that has a higher elevation will also provide more ideal viewing conditions.