FIX YOUR EYES on the skies tonight, as a meteor shower will pass overhead – and will be on view to observers all over the country.
This weekend sees the peak of the Orionid meteor shower, which Astronomy Ireland describes as “a beautiful display of celestial fireworks”.
The best time to see the meteor shower is between Friday night and Saturday morning, 21 and 22 October.
The Orionid meteors
These meteors are made up of debris from a cloud of dust left behind by Halley’s Comet.
As Astronomy Ireland explains:
As Earth passes through this cloud each year, some of the debris falls into Earth’s atmosphere where it heats up and glows brightly, forming the familiar meteors or ’shooting stars’ that many of us have seen.
The Orionids will appear to come from a source in the eastern sky beside a constellation called Orion, which can be found by looking for the well-known Orion’s Belt, a group of three bright stars in a line.
David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland said:
We’re hoping for a great show for this year’s Orionid meteor shower tonight. The Moon doesn’t rise until long after midnight so with the darker skies we should be able to see more meteors than usual!
Astronomy Ireland is running a meteor watching campaign that everybody in Ireland can take part in.
How do you take part?
All you need to do is go outside and count how many meteors you see in 15 minute intervals.
Then let Astronomy Ireland know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, including your name and location.
Best of all?
The meteors will be visible all over the sky, and you do not need any special equipment to see them.