Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

October 21, 2015, 1:03 AM HST · Updated October 22, 5:17 AM
Meteorologist Malika Dudley · 0 Comments
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Orionid Meteor Shower / Image: NASA

Orionid Meteor Shower / Image: NASA

Earth’s encounter with debris from Halley’s Comet will give us a show in the sky!

The Orionid meteor shower is active in Hawaii through October 25, 2015. The shower began October 15 and will peak tonight into the early dawn hours tomorrow morning.

The Bishop Museum says, “This should be a good year in terms of moon conditions, since the moon is down long before the peak hours and in no position to interfere with meteor viewing.”

The Orionids are known for being bright and quick with up to 20-25 meteors per hour but this year is expected to be a “weak year” according to NASA with up to about 12 meteors per hour.

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The best viewing will be pre-dawn the morning of October 22 when Earth encounters the densest part of the debris from Halley’s comet.

In addition to Orionids, you’ll be able to see many other spectacular sights in the sky including the star Sirius, constellations Gemini and Taurus, and the planets Jupiter and Venus.

Our next meteor shower is expected to peak November 16 to 18. The Leonids are known for their intense peak every 33 years and were responsible for the greatest meteor shower over Hawai‘i in recent times, the 2001 shower.

A live stream of the Orionid meteor shower from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will be available via Ustream at this link.

 

Weather Conditions

Moon set: 12:29 a.m. The moon sets before peak viewing times so the sky will be dark.
Weather: Partly to mostly cloudy skies and scattered showers for windward spots. Clearer weather on the leeward sides. Winds are expected out of the northeast around 15 mph with low temperatures from 71° to 76° degrees in Maui County near shore. Temperature will be cooler at higher elevations.

 

Viewing Tips

  • Meteors are yellow in color and streak across the sky very quickly.
  • This shower will appear to radiate from just north of the constellation Orion’s bright star Betelgeuse. However, you don’t have to necessarily look directly at the radiant as meteors will appear in all parts of the night sky.
  • During the early morning hours, shower activity is combined with normal random meteor activity.
  • Dusk is the worst time to view meteors, as the number of meteors that are visible will increase as the night progresses.
  • Find the darkest place possible.
  • Find an open area where no trees or buildings intrude into your view.
  • Allow your eyes to adjust for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Get comfortable. Dress appropriately and lie flat on your back with your feet facing south.
  • Put away the telescope or binoculars. Using either reduces the amount of sky you can see at one time, lowering the odds that you’ll see anything but darkness.
  • Avoid looking at your cell phone or any other light. Both will destroy your night vision. If you have to look at something on Earth, use a red light. Some flashlights have filters or you can always paint the clear filter with red nail polish.
  • **Send us your photos of the meteor shower and we will share them with our MauiNow.com ohana! Email [email protected]**
Meteorologist Malika Dudley
Malika was born and raised in Hilo. She began her career in news at KGMB9 in 2007. As a part of the Hawaii News Now weather team, Malika was nominated for two Emmy Awards for excellence in weather reporting and won the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Journalism Award for her reporting on Hawaii’s tsunami damage in 2011. In 2019, Malika was recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter in the category of Science Reporting for her Big Island Now news report on what was happening beneath the sea surface at the ocean entry of the Puna lava flow.  

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