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Orionid meteor shower 2013 peaks on Oct 20-21, moonlight to dim showers

Oct 18 (): The Orionid meteor shower 2013 will peak on October 20-21. However, this year’s shower may be spoiled by moonlight.

The Orionids look to come out of the constellation Orion (the Hunter), exactly from the super giant star Betelgeuse. These meteors have an average speed of 238,000 kilometers (148,000 miles) per hour just before they begin to impact on the upper atmosphere of the Earth to produce the bands of light we see crossing over the darkened sky.

The meteors seen in the Orions are leftovers from Halley’s Comet, which was named after the American astronomer Edmund Halley.

The meteor shower will be better seen in the northern hemisphere, but will still be visible in the southern hemisphere. Although the Orionids will be seen on the night-time from midnight until dawn during the nights of October 20-22, the light from the bright waning gibbous moon is likely to wash out all but the brightest Orionid meteors.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) chief astronomer said the maximum peak nights of the meteor shower would be on Oct. 21 and 22 where at least 15 meteors per hour are expected to splash across the sky. But, he says a bright moon could make some of the meteors appear faint. He is also still not sure of the weather on Oct. 21 and 22. He hopes for clear skies to offer a good view.

Sky-watching columnist Joe Rao said even under good conditions, the Orionids are dim enough to be difficult to see in city lights or even the suburbs. Typically, Orionid meteors are normally dim and not well seen from urban locations, so we suggest that you find a safe rural location to see the best Orionid activity.

At its peak, the shower sends 15 to 20 meteors per hour across the sky. But, sky watchers can expect to see 5 to 10 sporadic meteors an hour on any night.

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