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2014 Orionid meteor shower

In 2014, the shower is expected to peak between October 20 - 21. An almost new Moon will make it easy for Northern and Southern Hemisphere observers to view the shower.

Illustration image
Halley's comet causes the Orionid meteor shower
Debris from Halley's comet (pictured above) causes the annual Orionid metoer shower.
NASA/ESA/Max-Planck-Institute for Solar System Research

The Orionid meteor shower is one of the two meteor showers associated with the Comet Halley. It is called Orionids because the meteors seem to emerge or radiate from the constellation Orion.

Orionids tend to be active every year in the month of October, usually peaking around October 20. At its peak, people can view about 20 meteors an hour.

Halley's comet

The Eta Aquarids in May is the second meteor shower created by the debris left by Comet Halley. Halley takes around 76 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun. It will next be visible from Earth in 2061.

The Draconids also occur in October, usually peaking around October 7 - 8.

Where to view the Orionids

The Orionids can be seen by viewers from both hemispheres.

While it is not necessary to look in a particular direction to enjoy a meteor shower – just lay down on the ground and look directly above and you are bound to see some meteors – astronomers suggest that observers in the Northern Hemisphere look towards the southeastern sky, while those in the Southern Hemisphere look at the northeastern sky.

When to view the Orionids

The best time to view the Orionids is just after midnight and right before dusk.

Sunrise and sunset timings for your city

Location in the sky

Orionid meteor shower for Seattle (Night between Oct 21 and Oct 22)
Tue 11:00 PM74°East-northeast6.2°
Midnight Tue-Wed85°East16.1°
Wed 1:00 AM96°East26.2°
Wed 2:00 AM109°East-southeast36.1°
Wed 3:00 AM124°Southeast45.2°
Wed 4:00 AM143°Southeast52.5°
Wed 5:00 AM167°South-southeast56.8°
Wed 6:00 AM194°South-southwest56.8°
Wed 7:00 AM218°Southwest52.3°
Direction to see the Orionid in the sky:
  • Azimuth is the direction, based on true north, a compass might show a slightly different value.
  • Altitude is height in degrees over horizon.

Set your location

How to view the Orionids

There isn’t a lot of skill involved in watching a meteor shower. Here are some tips on how to maximize your time looking for the Orionids:

  • Get out of the city to a place where city and artificial lights do not impede your viewing
  • If you are out viewing the shower during its peak, you will not need any special equipment. You should be able to see the shower with your naked eyes.
  • Carry a blanket or a comfortable chair with you - viewing meteors, just like any other kind of star gazing is a waiting game, and you need to be comfortable. Plus, you may not want to leave until you can’t see the majestic celestial fireworks anymore.
  • Check the weather and moonrise and moonset timings for your location before you leave, and plan your viewing around it.

Topics: Astronomy, Meteors, Moon, Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, October

In this Article


All about meteor showers

  1. A handy guide to meteor showers
  2. October 2014: Orionids
  3. November 2014: Leonids
  4. December 2014: Geminids
  5. December 2014: Ursids
  6. January 2015: Quadrantids
  7. April 2015: Lyrids
  8. May 2015: Eta Aquarids
  9. August 2015: Perseids
  10. October 2015: Draconids

More meteor showers

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