Each year, around the 22nd of October, the Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak. The radiant lies a little to the north of Betelgeuse and the source of the meteors is debris shed from comet Halley.

Due to the comet's retrograde orbit the meteoroids hit the Earth's atmosphere at great speed creating displays of swift meteors, many leaving short-lived green trains.

In most years ZHR is around 20, but activity seems to be on the rise. 2009 gave a good show, where, before sunrise on the 22nd a meteor was seen on average every few minutes in my field of view (and some were probably missed out of my field of view). There were a few bright (mag 0 and brighter) events which were pleasing to see.

In 2017 the peak of the shower on the morning of the 22nd was clouded out, but I saw two bright meteors on the morning of the 21st, one passing nicely through the field of my camera.


2009 October 22; two meteors streak away from the radiant in this annotated image.

2009 October 22; the southern Milky Way in the morning twilight. Eta Carina is middle left, the Southern Cross and Coal Sack lower middle. A meteor streaks into the frame at upper left.

2009 October 22; one Orionid streaks away towards Taurus.

2017 October 21; a brilliant Orionid (estd magnitude -2.5) streaks through Columba. It left a train visible to the naked eye for at least five minutes.

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