Astrophotographer Jeff Berkes snapped this amazing photo of an Orionid meteor streaking above a lake in Elverson, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2011, during the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Said Berkes: "I arrived here around 1am with crystal clear skies and a moody fog rising off the lake.I was a little biut worried about the moon making its ascent in the sky, but the Orionids were streaking bright and I counted about 30 meteors last night and this morning. Three of them were random meteors, and two of those three were borderline fireballs! Happy meteor hunting!"
Skywatcher Benjamin Kerr caught a faint Orionid meteor (bottom right) in this photo he snapped on Oct. 22, 2011 from Uinta National Forest in Utah during the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower. Said Kerr: "This was the first time that I've ever tried to photograph a meteor shower and was so excited that I got a decent picture!"
Astrophotographer Olivier Staiger snapped this view of a long, bright Orionid meteor from the Crans-Montana region of the Swiss Alps. This image was taken on Oct. 21, 2011, just before the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower.
This stunning photo was taken by astrophotographer Mark Staples, a heart surgeon by trade, as an Orionid meteor (center right) blazed over Little Lake Santa Fe in Waldo, Fla. This image was taken on Oct. 22, 2011 during the Orionid peak. The meteor appears just above the red glow of a communications tower.
This close-up of a photo by amateur astronomer Mark Staples of Waldo, Fla., shows an Orionid meteor on Oct. 22, 2011 as it blazed over Little Lake Santa Fe. The pinkish glow below the meteor are from a communication tower's lights on the ground. "I really like long exposure photography and have a long interest in space exploration. I used to be one of the NASA shuttle astronaut launch and landing support physicians (lots of pictures there too!). I am used to little sleep and enjoy the night sky- especially while sailing offshore ... There were a few very bright Orionoids but most were faint and fast. A few meteors were perpendicular to the Orion radiant and were bright. I watched for 90 minutes, saw about 15 meteors towards the east(the hood of my coat limited my sky view), and got too cold in the 46deg weather to take any more than 150 pics to get that one shot!"
Amateur astronomer Monika Landy-Gyebnar snapped this photo of an Orionid meteor (top left) streaking over a field east of her hometown of Veszprem, Hungary on Oct. 22, 2011 during the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower.
Skywatcher Brian Emfinger snapped this photo of an Orionid meteor before sunrise on Oct. 22, 2011 as the meteor streaked over Ozark, Arkansas during the peak of the Orionids.
Skywatcher Pete Lawrence of Selsey, West Sussex in the United Kingdom snapped this view of an meteor streaking across the sky on Oct. 22, 2011 during the peak of the Orionid meteor shower. A closeup of the meteor is shown at left. "I observed this particular shower with my camera, as the sky was intermittently clear then cloudy. It's always a thrill to capture a bright trail, especially one close to the 'parent' constellation and this year I have managed 6 so far. Having been away from home for a few days, it was good and somewhat unexpected to see clear skies appear in time for the maximum. With a washed out Perseids and moonlit Draconids, the late rising of the old crescent Moon was helpful too," Lawrence said.
An Orionid meteor streaks across the sky, with the bright three-star belt of the constellation Orion, as well as the Orion nebula (center right) shine in the background. This image was taken before sunrise on Oct. 22, 2011 from Ozark, Ark., during the peak of the 2011 Orionid meteor shower.
The faint streak of an Orionid meteor is visible in the top center of this photo snapped by amateur astronomer Monika Landy-Gyebnar from her favorite skywatching spot east of her home in Veszprem, Hungary, on Oct. 22, 2011 during the peak of the annual Orionid meteor shower.
An image of Halley's Comet taken in 1986. Halley's comet is the source of the Orionid and Eta Aquarid meteor showers each year.
This photograph of Halley's Comet was taken January 13,1986, by James W. Young, resident astronomer of JPL's Table Mountain Observatory in the San Bernardino Mountains, using the 24-inch reflective telescope. Streaks caused by the exposure time are stars in the constellation Aquarius. Visible in the photo are the coma of gases and about 725,000 kilometers (450,000 miles) of the charged ion tail. Halley's comet is the source of the Orionid and Eta Aquarid meteor showers each year.
Skywatchers can look for the Orionid meteor shower in the constellation Orion, the Hunter. The setup is seen here from mid-northern latitudes. Even though the radiant of the shower is in Orion, meteors can appear far from the constellation.
This NASA sky map shows morning sky on Saturday, Oct. 22nd at 5:30 a.m. local time, viewed facing southeast, the location of the Orionid meteor shower created by leftovers from Halley's Comet.
Antti Pietikäinen of Finland snapped this photo of an Orionid meteor. He said: "I went out alone on to a field next to my house in Muonio, Lapland, Finland. We have little streetlights [sic] and population density here is 1 person per square kilometer so nights are nice and dark. After snowfall, [the] landscape whitens and stars become less visible so this time of year — before the snow — is optimal for wandering out in the night."