Eyes To The Skies For The Orionid Meteor Shower

After the huge fireball that skipped off the Earth on September 21st, which was seen from Holland, the UK, and Ireland, skywatchers are in for a treat this weekend when bits of Halley's Comet are set to bombard Earth.  

When debris from comets enters Earth's atmosphere it lights up in the sky as meteors - also known as shooting stars - and the Orionid Meteor Shower caused by Halley's Comet is one of the best meteor showers of the year.

The best time to see the Orionids will be after midnight on Saturday night and into Monday morning (October 21st to 22nd), but they can be seen at any time in the days before and after this peak once it's dark. Orionid meteors can glow very brightly, and with no Moon to cause a glare they will be easily visible. In fact, they sometimes burn so brightly that they produce fireballs!

The Orionid meteors will appear to originate from the constellation Orion in the eastern sky, but can be seen anywhere in the sky. No telescopes or binoculars are needed to see the Perseids as they are bright enough to be seen with the naked eye.

"Some people are already spotting meteors in the sky! The Moon will be out of the way so it is definitely worth going outside to try to see some Orionids for what is already proving to be an excellent shower," said David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland. "Sometimes large pieces of debris enter the atmosphere and flare up extremely brightly as fireballs - these can often land on the ground! We want everyone to go outside every night over the next week and take part in our Nationwide Meteor Watch".