Life Science Environment October meteor showers: A triple-threat treat

October meteor showers: A triple-threat treat

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’Tis the season for meteors, as October promises shower-filled evenings – including one display that’s scheduled for just after sunset.

Despite its (many) flaws, 2020 has been a stunning year for astrological delights, and this month may be the best one yet.

The pick of the bunch is the Orionids, a trail left by the debris of Halley’s Comet. We had their sibling shower earlier in the year – the Eta Aquariids.

The Orionids are set to peak between October 21 and 23.

They are best seen in the wee hours of the morning – the hot tip is to set your alarm for about 4am on October 22. Look for the Orion constellation in the north to north-east skies.

To find the constellation Orion, look to the northern sky before sunrise. Photo: Museums Victoria

Slow movers

Throughout October the Taurids shower will be blistering (albeit slowly) through the skies, and the best night to see them is Saturday, October 10.

It’s not the fastest or most plentiful display – we can expect about five meteors an hour at the peak – but they’re bright, slow moving and sometimes explode in what’s called the ‘Halloween fireballs’.

After midnight, scan the skies for ‘the saucepan’ – look to its upper right for the Taurids, formed from the debris of Comet 2P Encke.

Meteors will often have a green tinge as they streak across the sky.

Early delights

Finally, northern Australians get the luxury of a shower they don’t have to get up at an unholy hour to see.

On October 8, the Draconids will be visible for those north of Brisbane. The best time to see this display is just after sunset. There may be up to 10 shooting stars per hour.

As with every meteor shower, you’ll get the best results in spots as far away from light pollution (read: cities) as possible.

Don’t expect to see a million shooting stars straight away – you need a good half hour for your eyes to adjust and settle in.

Astro vibes

Now, we don’t get this sort of display without some sort of interference in our Earthly lives.

According to intuitive astrologer and psychic Rose Smith, the triple treat means a psychological and spiritual effect for us – and especially for those who fall into three particular star signs.

They might only be visible to northern Australians, but the Draconids shower will have an effect on most of us, especially Librans, Ms Smith said.

“The dragon is related to the snake with four legs and can be symbolic of transformation in practical reality. This means real physical changes involving power could occur in October,” she said.

Given its name, it’s no surprise the Taurids shower will have the strongest effect on Taureans.

It’s a time of insight, awareness and revelation, Ms Smith said, owing to the star Aldebaran that makes up the eye of the bull in the Taurus constellation.

Rose Smith
Rose Smith advises people to pay attention to their emotions during the month of October.

“The Southern Taurids meteor shower could herald explosive times especially for leaders and authority figures as secrets are revealed and those who are lost finally find their way,” Ms Smith said.

(We’re not suggesting anything, but PM Scott Morrison is a Taurus.)

Finally, the Orionids will bring ripples to the energy of Geminis.

Like the Gemini, the meteors have two sides: Changeable and stormy conditions, arrogance, but also fortitude, alertness and infallible energy, Ms Smith said.

“We need these meteor showers. With all the chaos, disruption and change going on in the world at the moment, people are generally feeling very anxious and strong celestial activity is a sign of hope,” Ms Smith concluded.