20 October 2022, by Victoria Séveno

October might be almost over, but it still has something special to offer all those aspiring astronomers in the Netherlands: be sure to turn your eyes to the sky this weekend for your chance to catch a glimpse of the peak of the Orionid meteor shower!

Orionid meteor shower to light up Dutch skies this October 

The Orionid meteor shower is one of two associated with Halley’s Comet (alongside the Eta Aquariids in May) but is the only one that is confirmed to have Halley as its parent body. This astronomical phenomenon occurs when Halley’s Comet passes through the inner solar system in its orbit, as its nucleus expels ice and rock particles into space. These particles become meteors when they pass through the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Orionids take their name from – you guessed it – Orion, because the meteors look like they radiate from the same area in the sky as the Orion constellation. 

How to ensure you see the Orionids from the Netherlands

The meteor shower is active every October, and is visible from both the northern and southern hemispheres, with this year’s peak falling on the night of October 21, giving you the chance to see up to 30 meteors per hour! For your best chance, be sure to get up nice and early on Saturday morning (i.e. before sunrise) and head out of the city to an area with little to no artificial light, like a national park. Here’s hoping the Dutch weather stays nice and clear!

Has all this talk of meteor showers left you wanting more? Well, worry not: October 25 will present you with a fine opportunity to catch a glimpse of a Partial Solar Eclipse, and in November you’ll be treated to the peaks of both the Taurids and Leonids meteor showers.

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