Orionids, one of the best meteor showers of the year, peaks tonight

After a short interval from meteorite activity, the annual Orionids meteor shower Shooting in the night sky is back to bring stars. It appears between October 2 and November 7, as the Earth passes through debris from Halley’s comet, but peaks on Tuesday, October 20 and Wednesday, October 21 this week.

And this is not the only exciting astronomical activity of the month – October features Two full moonsThe second of which comes on Halloween, and Our planet will be closest to Mars By 2035.

What are orionids?

According to NASA, orionoids, which lighten the night sky every year, are considered one of the most beautiful meteor showers of the year.

Orionid meteors are both bright and sharp. They travel at about 148,000 mph or 41 miles per second in the Earth’s atmosphere, often leaving “trains” of debris behind the debris in their wake and lasting from several seconds to minutes.

NASA said, “Orionids are also implicated by some of the brightest stars in the night sky, providing a stunning backdrop for these showy meteors.”

Meteors, which are comet particles and broken asteroids, originate from comet 1P / Halley, which orbits the Sun once in about 76 years. The comet was last seen in 1986, and will not enter the internal solar system again until 2061.

The comet is named after Edmund Haley, who discovered its 76-year-old orbit in 1705. Hailey believed that the three previous comets were all the same – a prediction that came true when it came back after his death.

Halley’s Comet is probably the best-known comet ever, cited for millennia, and even based on the Bayeux Tapestry, which showcases the 1066 War of Hastings.

The Orionids derive their name from the constellation Orion, which is the point in the sky from which they come. The constellation is not the source of the meteor, but rather, it helps the skywatchers determine which meteor shower they are seeing. The radiant point of the meteor shower is north of the bright star of Orion, Beteluse.

Orionid meteor shower in Russian Far East
On October 23, 2016, in Russia’s primitive region, meteors wave in the night sky during the Orionid meteor shower.

Yuri Smituk TASS via Getty Image

How to see a meteor shower

The orionids arise early in the morning on 21 October each year, but are strongly visible in the surrounding nights. They appear in both the northern and southern hemispheres in the hours after midnight, but you can check timeanddate.com to find out what is the best time for your area.

Conditions should be favorable, because it is not until the next full moon Halloween, On 31 October.

As always, NASA recommends finding an area with little light pollution, and bringing a sleeping bag, as you may be for a while. To see meteors, lie flat on your back, place your feet south-east. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere or North-East, you are in the Southern Hemisphere.

While there are flashes of Orion meteors, this is not the only place skywatchers must look to see a shower – they appear in the night sky. NASA advises them to look 45 to 90 degrees away from Orion, where they will appear taller and more spectacular.

Within 30 minutes of being outside, your eyes will turn dark. You can expect to see about 20 meteors in the moonlight hourly, but be patient – the show will last until morning!

Looking at a meteor shower, NASA recommends watching out for a prolonged burst of light – this means that the meteors have become fireballs, which are extremely bright.

Mid-October to mid-December is an almost continuous period of spectacular meteor activity. After the Orionids, the next major meteor shower is the Leonids, which peak in mid-November.


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