Dark skies mean good Orionid meteor shower viewing

Adjust Comment Print

To find the constellation Orion during the peak time tonight and tomorrow night, simply look to the southeast sky and locate Orion's Belt, which consists of a tight group of three bright stars aligned in a slant (see graphic above). The shower will be visible both Friday and Saturday night. The meteors, also known as shooting stars, are named Orionids because they appear to radiate from the constellation Orion, named after a hunter of Greek lore.

Find a wide, open spot so you have a completely unobstructed view with no buildings or trees. Look away from the constellation toward the eastern sky or the western edge of the Orion constellation.

Cooke told Space.com that, depending on the year, there can be a peak of anywhere between 20 to 80 meteors in a single hour. To get the best view, you're supposed to lie flat on the ground and just stare up at the sky - so best to take some warm clothes and a cheeky hot chocolate with you.

Uranus is in full opposition on Thursday, meaning it's directly opposite the sun.

The darker location you visit, the brighter the meteors will appear in the sky. If you're in a light-polluted region, binoculars will help. It's the second-to-last planet in our solar system, in front of Neptune.

More news: Israel to pull out of United Nations
More news: Rex Tillerson Once Again Does Not Deny Calling President Trump a Moron
More news: Northam maintains double-digit lead in Quinnipiac poll

The meteors will be seen worldwide, according to NASA, but for Oklahomans, the best viewing will be in far western Oklahoma, or in any state west of the state lane, except California, where smoke from the wildfires will make viewing hard.

Across Canada you'll be able to catch a glimpse of this sky spectacle. However, Orion's Sword is the best place for stargazers to look for the incredible phenomenon. It will be toward the bottom of the Pisces "v".

Get as far from city lights as possible.

Venus and Mars rise just before the sun this week.

Lots of astronomers are looking forward to the 2017 Orionids because the skies are due to be particularly dark and clear this year, which should make them easier to spot! If you are viewing from an area with a lot of artificial light, like Augusta, then light pollution will prevent you from seeing numerous meteors. Mars comes up at 5:34 a.m., and Venus rises at 7:46 a.m.

Comments