Main menu


The Orionid meteor shower peaks on October 21. Here's what to expect

featured image

For several days each year centered on October 21, Earth sweeps up a swarm of meteoroids known as the Orionids; Widely dispersed bits and pieces by Halley’s Comet, the most famous of all comets.

In fact, we will be crossing this same stream for the second time this year. We’re also passing through a different part of our orbit for a few days in early May, at which time they’re launching from a different part of the sky and are called the Eta Aquarids. In May, we cross the inbound path of Halley in October, while Earth encounters the debris left behind by Halley’s Comet as it moves away from the sun. The comet itself doesn’t come within a few million miles of Earth’s orbit, but dust spread over time causes both May’s Eta Aquarid meteorites and October’s Orionid meteorites.