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Dozens of shooting stars visible as Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend

Dozens of shooting stars visible as Orionid meteor shower peaks this weekend

The meteor shower is visible worldwide, and huge swathes of the US are predicted to experience prime, clear conditions.

The streaks of light you can see are actually caused by tiny bits of dust and rock called meteoroids entering the Earth's atmosphere and burning up.

The meteors will appear throughout the night sky, so you don't have to stare at any one point. It's an annual phenomenon, as the Orionid meteor shower becomes most visible every year in mid-October, when the Earth passes through the debris.

It is a great year to view the meteor shower because the crescent moon doesn't provide a lot of light so, it will not hide many Orionid meteors.

No. We now have a "new moon" which means it's not adding any light to the sky.

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.

If the skies are clear enough, you could witnesses up to 20 shooting stars an hour.




This shower is expected to be less than that, with Otago Museum Director Ian Griffin telling NZME that Otago based spectators may be able to see between 20 and 30 meteors per hour.

However, the shower will be active throughout the month.

If you live in the northern hemisphere, look up to find Orion's club above the star Betelgeuse.

While falling Orionids will be visible to the naked eye from nearly anywhere in the country, stargazers are advised to steer clear of cities so as to escape light pollution for the best view of the dazzling display.

How can I see the Orionid Meteor Shower?

For the best results, get up early and watch the shower in the darkest hours before dawn - but do not forget to give your eyes 20 minutes to adjust to the dark.

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