In 2020, the Orionids will peak on the night between Oct 20–21
October Meteor Shower
Orionids are active every year in October, usually peaking around October 20/21. At its peak, up to 20 meteors are visible every hour.
They are the second meteor shower of the month—the Draconids usually peak around October 7 or 8.
Dust From Halley's Comet
The Orionid meteor shower is the second meteor shower created by Comet Halley. The Eta Aquarids in May is the other meteor shower created by 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.
Orionids are named after Orion, because the meteors seem to emerge or radiate from the same area in the sky as the constellation.
What Time Does the Meteor Shower Peak?
The table is updated daily and shows the position of the Orionids radiant in the sky for the upcoming night. Use the date drop down above the Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map to change dates.
|Orionids meteor shower for Washington DC (Night between October 20 and October 21)|
|Tue 11:00 pm||73°||4.4°|
|Wed 12:00 midnight||82°||15.7°|
|Wed 1:00 am||92°||27.4°|
|Wed 2:00 am||102°||38.9°|
|Wed 3:00 am||115°||50.0°|
|Wed 4:00 am||134°||59.7°|
|Wed 5:00 am||163°||65.9°|
|Wed 6:00 am||199°||65.7°|
|Wed 7:00 am||227°||59.3°|
Direction to see the Orionids 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.
How to See the Orionids
You don't need any special equipment or a lot of skills to view a meteor shower. Even though all you really need is a clear sky, lots of patience, and our handy Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map with a visibility conditions meter to see a meteor shower, the following tips can help maximize your shooting star viewing experience.
- Find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights. Once at the venue, your eyes may take 15 to 20 minutes to get used to the dark.
- Dress for the weather, and make sure you are comfortable, especially if you plan to stay out long. Bring a blanket or a comfortable chair with you—meteor watching can be a waiting game.
- Once you have found your viewing spot, lie down on the ground and look up in the direction of the radiant. Use our Interactive Meteor Shower Sky Map or the table above to find the current direction of the radiant in the sky.