Orionids marred by the Moon

The Orionid meteor shower radiant. AN Graphic by Greg Smye-Rumsby.

The Orionid meteor shower peaks on 21/22 October, but unfortunately will be severely affected by glare from a near-full Moon. Orionids often leave persistent trains, or trails, so the brightest meteors might slice through the glare.

Orionid meteors originate from the orbital debris stream left behind by Halley’s Comet (1P/Halley), the most famous ‘icy snowball’ of all. In a favourable year, from a reasonably dark location, as many as 10–20 meteors (ZHR 20) can be seen from the small hours through to pre-dawn, emanating from the shower’s radiant between brilliant Betelgeuse (alpha [α] Orionis) and neighbouring Gemini.