How and when to try to catch a glimpse of the Orionid meteor shower in Calgary

Oct 19 2021, 7:00 pm

The Orionid meteor shower is set to peak in the early hours of October 21, but the full moon might make it difficult to see.

Meteor showers are best viewed with limited light pollution, which is why October’s full moon might put a damper on things. The moon will be full on October 19 and 20, which will flood the night sky with light until the 21, making the already small meteor shower that much harder to see.

The Orionid meteor shower is not as robust as August’s Perseid shower. If you’re lucky, you’ll see 10 to 20 meteors per hour, but with the moon being so bright, EarthSky says that it is unlikely you’ll see that amount.

It doesn’t help that Calgary might see some cloudy skies overnight on October 19 and 20. However, the nights won’t be totally cloudy, and skies are expected to be clear during the shower’s peak on October 21, plus there’s no chance of rain — so there’s still hope for the meteor shower.

Keep an eye on the weather before you head out, and maybe pack your toque, gloves, and a blanket, just in case.

Orionid meteor shower

Calgary forecast/Environment Canada

If you still want to take in the celestial event, you’ll want to find a space with an open sky and little light pollution.

Places like Nose Hill Park and parts of Fish Creek Provincial Park offer open skies away from the light pollution of downtown. These spots are ideal for viewing at around 2 am at the peak of the shower.

Be careful; a meteor shower earlier this month hit a little too close to home when a piece of a meteor crashed through the roof of a BC woman’s house, landing in bed next to her.

Sky gazers only need to look up and wait for the meteors to shoot out in all directions from the constellation of Orion this week. You don’t need to stare at Orion all night, but if you see a meteor and want to know if it’s Orionid, trace back its trail and see where it started!

With files from Brooke Taylor

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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