Orionid meteor shower set to peak during full Hunter’s Moon; how and when to view it

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Meteors of the Orionid meteor shower streak through the sky above the mountainous area of Tannourine in northern Lebanon, on Oct. 3, 2021. (Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP) (Photo by IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images)

Meteors of the Orionid meteor shower streak through the sky above the mountainous area of Tannourine in northern Lebanon, on Oct. 3, 2021. (Ibrahim CHALHOUB / AFP) (Photo by IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/AFP via Getty Images)

The second meteor show of the month is set to peak Wednesday night, coinciding with the first full moon of fall, KTLA sister station WDAF reports.

October’s full moon is called the “Hunter’s Moon.” It already reached peak illumination at 7:57 a.m. Pacific Time Wednesday, according to NASA, but the moon will still appear full Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

According to the Farmers Almanac, October’s full moon gets its nickname from the hunting season. Other names for October’s full moon include the “Blood Moon” and the “Sanguine Moon.”

At the same time late Wednesday, astronomy lovers will also get to witness the Orionid meteor shower, the second meteor shower of the month after the rare Draconids peaked weeks ago.

The Orionids, which usually produce about 20 meteors per hour, are set to reach their peak Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.

But because of the full moon’s bright light, the meteor shower’s dimmer shooting stars will likely be more difficult to see.

Still, if you want to try to catch a glimpse, experts say the best time to search for meteors is during the second half of Wednesday night — specifically the hours before dawn Thursday.

Astronomers recommend focusing on darker areas of the sky and avoid looking at sources of light such as the moon or a cellphone. 

And if you miss the Orionids, don’t stress. There are three meteor showers to look forward to in November, plus the Geminids will peak in December.

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