Universe Guide

Orionids Meteor Shower

When and where does the Orionids Meteor Shower Occur

The Orionids  meteor shower takes place within the boundaries constellation of Orion. The meteor shower occurs between October 15-29 with the peak occurring on the Oct. 21 every year.

The Solar Longitude (Abbrev: S.L., λ ☉) is 209 degrees, this value is the the date of maximum activity. It is measured as a degree with zero degree indicating spring equinox (roughly March 21st/22nd). 90 is the Summer Solstice, 180 is the Autumn Equinox and 270 is the Winter Solstice. This degree is independent of the calender. AMS .

The source of the meteor shower is Comet 1P/Halley. The coordinates can also be determined by the Right Ascension (95.9) and the Declination (15.7).

Zenith Hourly Rate

The Zenith Hourly Rate or how many you expect to see during the hour is 30. The ZHR can radically increase if the comet or associated object is close by. The speed/velocity of the Meteor Shower particles is 66 km/s. The population index of the meteor shower is 3. The population index refers to the magnitude distribution of the meteorites, the smaller the index, the brighter the meteors are, the higher, the dimmer the meteors are. For this particular meteor shower, bright meteors are more frequent.

How to Find and View the Orionids

The constellation is one of the easiest constellations to recognise in the sky, in part thanks to the three stars lining up as the belt of Orion. At the same that the Orionids are appearing, the nearby Geminids are also radianting.

Northern Hemisphere

Whilst you can just barely make out the Orionids on the horizon at 10pm in a NE->E direction, its probably better to wait later, say until 10:30 to be able to see them when they are slightly higher in the sky. The famous belt is not visible at this time so you need to look for where he raises his hand. Over the course of the night, the Orionids will rise higher into the sky.

Southern Hemisphere

Whereas in the northern hemisphere, the belt of Orion doesn't appear appear first, in the southern hemisphere, the belt of Orion is first to appear. You need to look below the belt to see the Orionids. The bad news is that you will have to wait later into the night, in fact, have to wait until the early hours of the next day to be able to see the Orionids in a NE->E direction.

Using the picture below to see where the Radiant Point is, flip the picture up side down to see where the radiant point is in the southern hemisphere.

Recent and Forthcoming Meteor Showers :-

Orionids Meteor Shower Facts

Associated Comet1P/Halley
Closest Star to Radiant PointXi Orionis
Peak Activity DateOct. 21
Population Index3
Activity PeriodOctober 15-29
Right Ascension95.9
Solar Longitude / λ ☉209 °
Zenith Hourly Rate30
Semi-Major Axis6.8700

Location of the Radiant Point for the Orionids Meteor Shower

Map showing the location of where the Orionids radiate from within Orion

The image showing the location of Orionids was generated using the free application Night Vision.

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