Image Credit & Copyright: Me, of Iridium 6 which I conveniently used in lieu of an actual meteor image.
ACTIVE DATES (might see a few): October 4 – November 12, 2014.
PEAK VIEWING: Night of October 20 and morning of October 21.
HOURLY RATE: Approximately 25 per hour.
RADIANT POINT: Constellation Orion.
MOON IMPACT: MINIMAL = Waning Crescent 3% illuminated.
VELOCITY: 41 miles per second.
PARENT BODY: Comet 1P/Halley or “Halley’s Comet”.
HEMISPHERE FAVORED: Northern Hemisphere.
Peak night is usually a given night and next morning with the “next morning” being the absolute best time to watch. In fact the close to morning twilight you can get, the better…..here’s why.
If you view the solar system from the top, planets orbit the Sun in a counter clockwise motion, we also rotate in a counter clockwise motion. That means just before sunrise the Earth is pointed in the direction of travel of the Earth itself and meteors are mere “bugs (Or if you prefer; “snowflakes”) hitting the windshield” of Spaceship Earth.
What are some of the things you will need for meteor showers? Well, as for seeing them….nothing. The most important things you need are a CLEAR sky and a DARK sky. In fact you really cannot use binoculars or a telescope for meteor showers because the streak is too long and you won’t be able to physically move your equipment into position in less than a second anyway.
Things to consider are weather and subsequently how you plan to dress for that weather. Red flashlights will help save your eyes because dark adaptation is a key in picking out the faint streaks you won’t be able to see after you just check your cell phone. Besides that, good people, chair, blankets, bug spray, food and try not to lie on any ant hills.