Orionids: How to watch the meteor shower as it peaks on Friday

Don’t forget to watch the night sky in the next few days if you want to catch a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower, which is expected to peak on Friday.

NASA calls the Orionid meteors “one of the best showers of the year.”

They are described as prolonged bursts of light, fireballs, or “light trains”, and they have glowing debris trailing in their wake. Meteors move at a speed of about 66 kilometers per second. At peak activity, in a moonless sky, viewers can see about 15 meteors per hour

Here are some basic tips from NASA to increase your chances of seeing Orionid meteors this season.


Getting a good view of this mesmerizing light show largely depends on where you are. NASA says the Orionids are most visible in the northern and southern hemispheres, during the hours after midnight. Since light pollution can affect general visibility, it would be good to find a location away from a busy city or streetlights.


Since it’s unclear when – or if – the Orionids will light up the skies, camping is an effective strategy to maximize your chances. Bringing a sleeping bag, blanket, and camping gear to keep warm can help keep you comfortable during an extended wait.


How you position yourself can also make a difference in seeing the Orionids. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, for example, lying flat on your back with your feet facing southeast will widen your view of the sky. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, lying on your back with your feet facing northeast will do the same.


According to NASA, it will take your eyes about 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness of the night. Minimizing the use of flashlights and lights from external devices, such as cell phones, will make it easier for your eyes to adjust.

Orionid meteors will be visible until dawn.