The Orionid meteor shower will peak in the pre-dawn hours of October 22, 2024

The Orionid meteor shower 2024 will start on October 3 and end on November 7, and you will see peak activity on October 22, 2024, according to the American Meteor Society.

It is a major annual meteor shower in October 2024 that usually produces 10 to 20 meteors per hour during peak activity under clear, dark skies.

We see the Orionid meteor shower every year in October, when our Earth passes through the debris of ice and dust left behind by the comet Halley in its orbit. So every Orionid meteor is the piece of comet Halley.

Orionid meteor shower radiating from the constellation Orion
Orionid meteor shower is radiating from the famous constellation Orion. (Image credit: NASA/Lu Shupei)

The Orionid meteor shower doesn’t have a sharp peak

The Orionid meteor shower doesn’t have a sharp peak, so you will get enough time to see the peak activity of the Orionid meteor shower.

It has a broad and flat peak that lasts around 4 or 5 days, centered on October 22. So I will suggest you start watching Orionids (Orionid meteors) from October 20 and continue it till October 24.

Best time to see the Orionid meteor shower in 2024

The best time to see the Orionid meteor shower in 2024 is in the pre-dawn hours (at around 4 a.m. local time) of October 22.

The radiant of Orionid meteor shower rises before midnight (at around 11 p.m. local time), reaches its highest point in the sky at around 4 a.m. local time and then its altitude (height) gradually decreases.

However, the radiant of the Orionid meteor shower is well above the horizon from post-midnight (at around 1 a.m. local time), so I will suggest you start watching Orionids (Orionid meteors) from post-midnight and continue it till dawn.

Please remember, you won’t see the Orionid meteor shower in the evening as the radiant is located below the horizon in the evening.

Radiant is the point from where the meteors of the Orionid meteor shower appear to radiate in the sky. Radiant of the Orionid meteor shower is located in the famous constellation Orion.

Best places to see the Orionid meteor shower in 2024

Countries located in the low-northern latitudes (from 10°N to 25°N) are the best places to see the Orionid meteor shower in the world.

Countries located in the low-northern latitudes are the USA, Mexico, Taiwan, China, India, Pakistan, Egypt, the Canary Islands, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Senegal, Sudan, Myanmar, the Philippines, Guatemala, Guinea, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.

Although the Orionid meteor shower favors observers in the Northern Hemisphere (north of the equator), observers in the Southern Hemisphere (south of the equator) will also see plenty of it.

Please remember that the maximum altitude (height) of the Orion constellation in the sky is not the same from all over the world. It depends on the observer’s location.

The higher the altitude of the Orion constellation in the sky, the more Orionid meteors you will see.

The Orion constellation reaches an almost overhead point (more than 80° altitude) in the pre-dawn hours when you see it from the counties located in the low-northern latitudes (from 10°N to 25°N).

That’s why countries located in the low-northern latitudes are the best places to see the Orionid meteor shower in the world.

Best direction to see the Orionid meteor shower in 2024

The radiant of the Orionid meteor shower is located in the famous constellation Orion
Look in the southeast direction of the sky before dawn to see the Orionid meteor shower. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky will help you to find the constellation Orion. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Orionid meteor shower radiates from the famous constellation Orion. Look high in the south-east direction of the sky in the pre-dawn hours of October 22 to find the constellation Orion.

However, I will suggest you don’t look at the constellation Orion only to see the Orionid meteor shower, as the meteors closer to the radiant have shorter trails and are difficult to observe. So move your gaze across the entire southeast direction of the sky.

If you look at the constellation Orion only, then you may miss most of the spectacular Orionid meteors, as the most spectacular meteors travel a longer path in the sky.

You will see a far greater number of Orionid meteors when you look 25° to 45° away from the radiant.

How to see the Orionid meteor shower in 2024

You don’t need any special equipment, such as a pair of binoculars or a telescope, to see the Orionid meteor shower. A meteor shower is best seen with the naked eye.

You don’t even need to identify the radiant of the Orionid meteor shower or the constellation Orion in order to see the Orionid meteor shower. You just need to know when the constellation Orion reaches its highest point in the sky.

The constellation Orion reaches its highest point in the sky before dawn (at around 4 a.m. local time), so look straight overhead in the sky before dawn and you will see the Orionid meteor shower in any direction of the sky.

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About the Author

Ashim

Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of spaceandtelescope.com.

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