Meteors that draw streaks in the sky are the fastest among meteor showers, as the Earth is almost hitting a stream of particles on the head. The particles come from the comet 1P / Halley, which is known as Halley’s comet. This famous comet rotates on Earth every 75 to 76 years, and as the icy comet makes its way around the Sun, it leaves behind pieces of the comet. At certain times of the year, the Earth’s orbit around the Sun crosses paths with debris.
“You can see fragments of the Halley comet during the Eta Aquarids [in May] And orionid meteor shower [in October and November], “NASA meteor expert Bill Cook told Space.com.
Orionid meteor shower: survivors of Hailes Comet
Orionoids are named after the direction from which they appear to be radiating, which is near the constellation Orion, the hunter. In October, Orion appears around 2 pm local time. Cooke told Space.com that the best time to see the meteors is on October 21. If you miss the peak, the shower will remain active until the end of October, as long as the moon is not washing the meteors.
The Orionid Meteor Shower sometimes produces spectacular displays of up to 80 meteors an hour, but in recent years it has produced more modest displays of about 20 or 30 visible meteors per hour.
How to watch the show
Orionid meteors are visible from anywhere on Earth and can be seen anywhere in the entire sky. If you find the shape of Orion, the hunter will be near the sword of Orion, the bright (or point of origin) meteor shower, slightly north of his left shoulder (Star Betelges). One should not stare directly at the occasion, Cook said, “because meteors close to the radiant have shorter paths and are harder to see – so you want to look away from Orion.”
As with most night-time skywatching events, light pollution can hinder your idea of an orionid meteor shower. If possible, get away from city lights, which can become a hindrance to the show. Go outside at around 1:30 and adjust your eyes to the darkness for about 20 minutes. Bundle against cold if necessary. Lie back and use only your eyes to see the sky. Telescopes and binoculars will not improve the view, as they are designed to see more stationary objects in the sky.
Some orionids will appear very fast and bright, as they can move at speeds up to 148,000 mph (238,000 km / h) in relative speed. It is just 6 km / h slower than the Leonids, Cook said.
It is tempting to think that the brighter meteors represent sections that would reach the ground, but Cook said that is not the case with the Orionids. These small comet fragments – some as small as sand grains – are called meteorites. When they enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they become meteors. Friction by air resistance causes the meteorites to heat up, creating a shiny, furious trail commonly known as a shooting star. Most meteors disintegrate before forming on the ground. Some that hit the surface of the Earth are called meteorites.
related: How often do meteorites hit the earth?
Astronomers recorded Halley’s comet as early as 240 BCE, but no one realized that the same comet was making many appearances. In 1705, Edmund Halley, then professor and astronomer at the University of Oxford, published “Synopsis Astronomia Comatica” (“A Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets”), showing the first evidence that a comet is reuniting. By studying the historical records of the comet that appeared in 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682, Halley calculated that it was in fact the same comet and he anticipated that it would reappear in 1758. While Halley died before the comet returned, it appeared in time. And was named after him.
The Orionoids report, however, was not first exposed until 1839, when an American in Connecticut noticed a shower, Cook said. During the Civil War between 1861 and 1865, more showers of showers were recorded. Cook told Space.com that he wasn’t sure if the meteor shower had been discovered so late, noting that Halley’s comet records have existed for millennia.
The next perihelion (Halley’s comet’s closet’s approach to the sun) is expected around July 2061.
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