Famous Orionid meteor shower peaks Tuesday night

A dozen or more meteors per hour possible before sunrise Wednesday
The Orionids Meteor Shower Peaks early Wednesday morning with 10-20 meteors per hour.
The Orionids Meteor Shower Peaks early Wednesday morning with 10-20 meteors per hour.(WDBJ)
Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 7:50 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The popular October meteor shower has arrived and this year the moon will cooperate, but can we also get the cloud cover to work in our favor?

The Orionids meteor shower peaks early Wednesday morning as the dust and debris left behind from the comet Halley moves through the solar system and burn up as they enter the Earth’s atmosphere. The result is a display of meteors and the occasional fireball.

The forecast calls for 20-25% cloud cover overnight. These will be the high, thin cirrus clouds, but may be just enough to obstruct the quick-moving meteors. We’ll be following the satellite closely and you can get observing weather in our Astronomy section.


The Orionids meteor shower will be visible through the month and even into early November. However, the peak is the morning of Wednesday, October 21st. The best time to check them out will be after 1 a.m. until just before sunrise (7:33 a.m.) Wednesday. You’ll see a few before/after, but that window is when the comet debris gets closest to the Earth’s atmosphere.


We often get asked, where am I supposed to look? The best advice is to look UP and don’t let your eyes wander around. Since the meteors are moving around 147,000 miles per hour, it’s easy to move your head or even blink and end up missing one since they only last a few seconds.


  • Get away from city lights and other light pollution
  • Lay back, relax and let your eyes adjust to the darkness
  • No need for binoculars or telescope
  • Focus your eyes on one spot and be patient

Let us know if you have any luck seeing them and share any photos with us here: Upload Photos & Video

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