According to observers reports sent in that last few hours to International Meteor Organization (IMO) – a clearinghouse for shower activity, the Orionid shower has begun and there is a definite upswing in the numbers of shooting stars seen per hour. One observer in Greece reports seeing rates as high as 24 meteors per hour and another in Germany reports seeing 30 plus in the pre-dawn hours this morning. Latest predictions say that the real peak should occur around 6 am EDT tomorrow but there should be lesser peaks where bunches of shooting stars can be seen racing across the sky in 15 minute time periods in th hours before and after. In the last few years some observers have counted as many as 60 to 70 per hr. So while there is no guarantee on how intense the shower will be this year, it does put on a decent show for those keen observers willing to brave the outdoors.
For a viewing guide to the Orionids and skychart see my blog entry below.
IMO Graph below charts in red the number of meteors seen per hour (vertical-axis) over the past few days (horiz. axis), as reported by skywatchers worldwide. The trend is definitely upwards as Earth plows into the densest part of the cloud of Halley’s comet debris.
Tags: meteor shower, Orionids
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