There's going to be a meteor shower all weekend long in Toronto

Oct 21 2016, 1:28 pm

The annual Orionid meteor shower has been soaring high above Toronto for almost a week now.

In fact, we saw early warnings of it a couple of weeks ago when the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC) Observatory captured footage of a meteor streaking across our night skies.

The fireball meteor was so bright some people called 911 to report a possible plane crash.

Lucky for us, the Orionid (named after the belt) meteor shower is comprised of fireball meteors which, according to the American Society of Meteors is defined as:

Another term for a very bright meteor, generally brighter than magnitude -4, which is about the same magnitude of the planet Venus as seen in the morning or evening sky.

So ya, the sky should be pretty lit…kind of.

A couple of things to keep in mind before you stay up for a weekend of disappointment.

  1. Get the hell out of Toronto if you want a solid shot at seeing the up to 20 meteors an hour that will be running across the sky. Drive north 30 or 40 minutes to escape the urban light pollution.
  2. According to, the best time to catch the Orionids is in the pre-dawn hours. So either wake up early or stay up late, but looking up around 5 am is the best time to see the show.
  3. The moon is a problem. It’s currently rocking out at just over 60% illumination, which means it’s going to block a lot of the meteors. This means that despite the Orionid enjoying its peak tonight, Saturday and Sunday night/morning will actually be better for you to catch them.

Toronto weather is calling for a cloudy night tonight but clearer skies both Saturday and Sunday.

Time to break out the binoculars and head north for the show.

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