Let's get real — star-gazing is one of the best COVID-era activities to add to your calendar. There's no need to leave your own property, you're spending time outside, and it can give you a break from binge-watching Friends for the thousandth time. Luckily, right now there's plenty to look at: The Orionids meteor shower, which is taking place all week, reaches its peak on Wednesday, October 21.
This meteor shower is made up of pieces of debris from Halley's Comet, and its an especially powerful astrological event. "Comets have a wildcard nature, very similar to the significance of eclipses, which tend to bring imminent changes our way," Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com, tells Refinery29. The appearance of comets can indicate that society is ready for deep, transformational changes. "Many astrologers who have studied the meaning of the appearance of comets believe they do presage history-making events, especially when they conjoin a planet or fixed star," she explains. In this case, the Orionids meteor shower is located around the stars that make up the constellation of Orion.
There's plenty of history to be made. Will there be a second wave? Who will win the election? Or will some event we'd never have dreamed of pop up next? We can't say for sure, but the meteor shower doe seem to indicate that something's afoot.
If you want to view the shower, get ready for a late night. "The Orionids begin producing showers before midnight but the numbers increase after midnight and the high point with the most meteors, or shooting stars, is typically just before dawn," says Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer at Keen.com. (Specifically, she says it'll be most active between 1:00 a.m. and dawn.) She suggests getting as far away from man-made light as possible, and to plan on spending at least an hour looking upward. "The meteors often come in spurts and it may take up to 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust," she explains.
The key is to find Orion, and keep your focus around that area. "The meteors appear in all parts of the sky, but if you trace their paths they all come from Orion," Hale says.
Is it worth being a little tired on your morning Zoom call to catch a glimpse? Only you can say for sure. But we know what we'll be doing tonight.