See Hunter's Moon and Orionid meteors in Suffolk skies tonight
- Credit: Colin Barley
The Hunter's Moon and the Orionid meteor shower will both be visible in the skies over Suffolk tonight, as long as clouds clear as expected.
The Hunter's Moon is the first full moon after the Harvest Moon, named as such because the strong light it casts makes hunting a lot easier.
The Orionid meteors are one of two meteor showers associated with Halley's Comet, being made up of its debris. The shower is characterized by fast meteors with fine trails.
It is called the Orionid shower as the meteors appear to originate from the Orion constellation, although in fact they originate from the comet, within the solar system.
The shower is due to peak over Suffolk on Thursday, October 21, with as many as 15 meteors an hour.
However, dedicated sky watchers might be frustrated by the timing of the full moon, as the light it casts will make observation of the Orionids meteor shower more difficult.
Dr Greg Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: “Unfortunately, with the full moon in the sky throughout the night, even if the weather is good it may be tough to see all but the brightest handful of meteors, with the rest hiding in the moonlight.”
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With heavy cloud covering Suffolk for the past few days people have been unable to see much of the beginning of the Orionids although skies are likely to clear a little bit on before the shower peaks on Thursday night.
Dr Brown added: “To give yourself the best chance to see some, wait for the early hours of the morning, then head to somewhere with few city lights and preferably a low horizon.
“Try to fill your view with as much of the sky as possible – lying on the ground or taking a deckchair with you can make this far more comfortable for longer periods of time.
“Then, simply stare at the sky.
“Neither a telescope nor a pair of binoculars will help you with these, as meteor showers are best viewed with just the unaided eye.
“Once your eyes have adapted to the dark, it should only be a matter of time before you see some.”
The best time to see the Hunter's Moon will be between 6-7pm, when it is low in the sky, and cloud cover is expected to be minimal.
If you get a good photo of either the Hunters Moon or the Orionid shower, please send it to Timothy.Bradford@archant.co.uk