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Orionid meteor shower reaches its peak on Oct. 22—here's how to catch it in Philippine skies

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Oct 19, 2023 7:42 pm Updated Oct 19, 2023 8:32 pm

Set your alarms to the early morning of Oct. 22, sky gazers, as the Orionid meteor shower is set to peak on that day.

Dubbed the most beautiful shower by NASA, the Orionid meteor shower happens every year in mid-October when the Earth intercepts the path of dust particles expelled by Halley's Comet which orbits the sun every 76 years.

It is considered one of the most spectacular celestial events as Orionids are known for their brightness and speed. They travel fast at about 148,000 mph (66 km/s) into Earth's atmosphere, leaving a glowing trail that lasts for several seconds to minutes. 

This speed also enables Orionid meteors to make fireballs with their prolonged explosions of light, according to NASA. At times, the meteors are also mistaken for shooting stars.

Adding magnificence to the celestial event are the brightest stars surrounding the meteors, which serve as the meteors' backdrop.

According to the astronomical calendar of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Orionid meteor shower is active from Oct. 2 to Nov. 7 this year, with peak activity occurring on Oct. 22, at 4 a.m.

It will be at medium strength, with 15 to 20 meteors passing through the sky per hour. 

PAGASA noted that there is no need to use binoculars or telescopes as the shower can be seen with the naked eye. NASA also suggested starting off by staying outside to let your eyes adjust to the dark for 30 minutes.

It is also best to find an area with a clear sky with no moon and away from city lights to maximize the viewing experience.